Much has been said recently concerning the increasingly irresponsible news media. For anyone folks who remember Walter Cronkite, we are amazed by the sleazy depths to which our news media can go nowadays. Their present fascination with Anna Nichole Smith’s death perfectly illustrates those depths.
It is commonly speculated that the drive for increasing profits by the corporate owners of the headlines outlets, along with fierce and unanticipated competition from the cable channels and Internet blogs have motivated a brand new focus upon the lurid. I might add the media consultants who insist that appealing to the best common denominator, easy news, brings and keeps viewers or readers. In spite of ourselves, we are especially fascinated with the downfalls and humiliations of our anointed celebrities.
But my concern is not over this sleaziness. In the end, we can still find, when we search, a couple of outlets that focus upon the important world and local news. A further and more insidious issue may be the honesty of our journalists. I believe that a lot of people go into journalism because they’ve a perfect of finding and sharing the reality about the people and issues that form our society. But, like the majority of politicians, they gradually become distracted and compromised by the pressures to be profitable, to attract and hold viewers/readers, to lead with stories, to reinforce a political or social perspective, and to add a spin more interesting and attractive compared to competitors on the other channels.
And sometimes those pressures force a bending or complete loss of the truth. While I realize that most news outlets have an expressed, or maybe more often unexpressed, political leaning, there remains the moral responsibility to be truthful. But what is truth in the context of reporting on events and people? تردد قناة الجزيرة Can it be still being honest when we emphasize those areas of the story that reinforce our viewpoint while de-emphasizing or ignoring those who don’t? Are we serving our viewers and readers when we consistently vilify those in the opposing party while blindly praising and ignoring the faults of those in ours? Or is that just being disingenuous? Should the headlines media be held accountable, as are the rest folks, when they libel or slander?
Sure, occasionally a store tabloid will lose a slander lawsuit, but seldom do the major newspapers or news channels face such sanctions. When the headlines media are criticized for his or her dishonesty, hypocrisy or bias, they cry freedom of speech and partisanship and few wish to take them on. They’ve become relatively above reproach, compared to any group.
And yet no other segment of our society can so dramatically influence public opinion and political dealings. The news media no further just report on events, they form and even create the events. They could make or break political candidates, drive legislation, manipulate the economy into and out of recessions, and even alter foreign policy. They’ve become an essential part of our society largely above reproach.
While there is a really real danger in interfering with the headlines media’s power to report and go wherever they have to go, they should be more aggressively held accountable when they’re deliberately untruthful or manipulative. While our political leaders won’t likely have the courage or will to battle the press, possibly the relatively loose and free Internet is going to do more to expose dishonesty wherever and whenever it occurs.