Americans need a fair and free press serving the public’s interest by holding society’s power brokers accountable to the people. A fair press, one that sets aside political bias and personal leanings in coverage. A free press, not only independent from government, but also from the people and organizations that serve as the subject matter. Otherwise, the press will no longer be deserved of its protection, as it would be a political organization. Going forward, leaders of media outlets must protect journalism by restoring objectivity and employing journalist that view their work as a duty to society, not political organizations they favor.
Any representative democracy requires an independent non-governmental press to protect the freedoms and civil liberties of the citizens it serves. In the United States, private sector media organizations collectively serve as our free press, including new media outlets as well. These groups serve the public interest by educating and informing citizens of the actions, behaviors, and policies of power brokers impacting our government, economy, and overall society. Constitutional protections all these organizations the ability to shed light on areas in the blind-spots of society without fear of persecution or overt retaliation. While their style or approach can be troublesome, the protections should not be set aside simply to protect an individual politician, party, or organization.
The traditional framework of the press is a clear separation between the journalists and the people and organizations they cover. Given the changing market conditions in the news industry and shifts in consumer behaviors, this separation is becoming greatly clouded in modern society. As media outlets focus on attaining ratings and retaining ideological viewer groups, coverage is shifting from news journalism to editorialized journalism, allowing political activist on both sides to be considered journalists. The lack of quality in coverage and content is creating distrust in the market, which came to the forefront following the 2016 election cycle. An event that exposed many in the media as being overt political in their coverage and content.
President Donald Trump exploits the fall from grace of the media by attacking coverage he perceives as biased and unfair. Because there is a great deal of coverage biased with anti-Trump sentiment held by the content creator, the general public has reasonable doubt over whether what they read in daily papers or view on nightly broadcast is the truth or political messaging crafted to appease certain bases or political leanings. As networks like CNN continue to serve as an unfettered platform for the left, there is legitimate questions of whether content marketed is another clickbait journalistic piece or real issue facing the provocative president. For quite some time, these media outlets clearly changed journalistic standards that previously guided their broadcasts and articles. Notable missteps create gaps of trust in the general public.
For instance, there is a clear closeness between the Democratic Party and CNN, where active DNC leadership previously held positions at the network. Former DNC vice chairwoman, Donna Brazile, who worked for the network during the 2016 campaign, exposed the network provided Hillary Clinton with information prior to her debate with Trump. In 2012, CNN moderator Candy Crowley inappropriately interrupted Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney during a debate, incorrectly countering a factual statement Romney made. Not surprising that the network now serves the interest of the anti-Trump movement, provide unvetted coverage of any storylines put forth. With the prior administration, CNN appeared to drag their feet with any story or reporting that would put President Obama in a bad light.
Americans need media outlets to require their journalist and editorial boards to set aside political leanings and biases and cover issues in a comprehensive and informative manner, presenting frameworks, solution sets, and varying opinions in a professional and unbiased manner. Understandably, leaders of media organizations seek to protect ratings and related advertising revenue by targeting reliable viewer bases by ideological leanings by overutilizing opinion content in news broadcasts and articles generated. Now, there are clear sources for conservative content and liberal fringe content. As most Americans are center rights, there is a clear lack of a voice for the true mainstream, as these organizations fight to appease those on the poles.
The path forward for media organizations would include establishing objective standards and incorporating intellectual diversity. Editorial boards should hold content to a higher standard, ensuring that topics are relevant and impactful, not simply clickbait or gossip. All too often, articles are simply reporting attacks made by celebrities, who are far from experts on any subject of matter. Moreover, outlets should objectively provide views from both sides, providing fair evaluations of the efficacy of proposals from all sides. The current bias creates negative stigmas associated with solution sets that prove effective and efficient. Instead of hysterical debates over which party should be hated or demonized, Americans could have substantial policy debates over issues that impact their economic outcomes and financial situations.
For the average American to truly be informed over issues, he or she would need to be willing to invest some time and effort to independently read up on issues and view a variety of sources to get a true complete picture. There really are no single source solutions for the general public (besides The CRC Review) to get a complete overview of issues. As such, people need to read beyond their preferred sources. Too often, people rely on content sources that appeal to their viewpoint or political leanings. True knowledge comes from seeing what the other side believes and framing opinions from complete set of facts and ideas. The efforts of those attempting to silence political opponents or opposing views are doing a disservice to our society.
All media content contains some level of bias from the writer. As many pointed out in the past, the bias does not necessarily negate the usefulness of the content. Viewers need to consider the impact of biases when accepting or rejecting the content. Audiences should not accept the reactions writers seek to emote, but weigh the actual arguments, facts, points of view, and validity. There is an importance to consider how other sources cover the same event, issue, or person.
America needs a fair and free press not political marketing firms operating under the guise of the press. Objectivity and true journalism are becoming scarce in our modern media. Americans must force outlets to restore these principles in order to restore the trust lost by the public.
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