With this Presidential election, the mistrust of the news media has reached an all-time high. This saddens me, because most people’s idea of what is news is so wrong these days.
Gone are the days of the 6:30 nightly news and the morning and afternoon newspapers. They’ve been replaced by social media, where a majority of people get their news, according to the Pew Research Center.
To be a good consumer of the news, you have to check to make sure your news source has done its job. Is the information on social media from legitimate news sites that do reporting, use sources and check their facts? Or is it from a site that promotes a certain point of view? Or even worse, did that news site steal someone else’s stories?
So when people say they hate the news media and are talking about getting rid of the first amendment rights for media, which media are they opposed to? Do they really want to get rid of the Fourth Estate as journalism was branded many years ago? The idea is that the media is the fourth part of our government, independent to keep an eye on the other three parts. Journalism is more important now than ever to keep track of what the government is doing. A good story will always be a good story, especially when it is about how the government spends its money.
Part of this is the media’s fault. Some of the networks (both cable and traditional) have blurred the lines between news and commentary on TV shows. Even the commentators on TV and radio don’t distinguish when referring to traditional media stories, by not specifying whether the story ran on the editorial pages or the front pages. There is a difference.
When you say journalism on TV and radio is biased, are you referring to Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh and Rachel Maddow ? They are not journalists. They are commentators.
Real journalists check their facts, cover all sides of the story, provide sources for the information they gather and will chomp at the bit at a good story, regardless which side of the political aisle might be impacted by it.
Some journalists are lazy and only cover the easy stories. But the ones I know are working hard to provide you with objective news. Maybe the public should look a little harder for those stories and news sources — instead of just finding news on social media — before calling all of the media bad names.