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The Disappearance of Journalism

Traditionally, news journalism, whether in print or broadcast, took great pride in being reliable and objective. Opinions were labeled as such or were aired exclusively on programs that were understood to contain biased material. Unfortunately, that is not the case today. We might expect to see fake news on social media but never on major news outlets. Today, fake news proliferates the airwaves. Across all sources of media we witness news anchors and reporters expressing opinions or skewing the perspective of program content to favor a certain agenda. Depending on the predilection of the reporting agency, a photo might show a person in an unattractive pose rather than an attractive one. Images set the tone for the story, impact how the viewing audience perceives the person of interest and communicates the partiality of the agency reporting the story.

Today reliability is rare. The drive to be the “first” to report a story takes priority over accuracy. In the struggle for ratings news stories are manipulated in an attempt to make them more sensational or controversial or seem to have a greater impact on life than they actually do. Stories that support the preferred agenda are repeated over and over. Individuals who are no more than reporters themselves are featured on news programs as subject matter experts. They debate and comment on issues as if they are qualified to do so; reporters interviewing reporters, supplying both the interviewer and the interviewee from the same biased source. Building the story their way with their people.

I long for the days when programs like BBC America reported “just the facts”. When men like Walter Cronkite defined what it meant to be a journalist. With all of the broadcast channels, internet publications and social media we are lost without a place to go for accurate news. And the future holds little hope that things will improve.



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