Saturday, August 20, 2011

Journalistic Integrity

In our media these days we have a huge number of people calling themselves journalists.  However, I question their use of this title.  To me a journalist is someone who reports the information without bias, just giving details and information. 

Too often these days we see people commenting on the news rather than reporting it.  It very much reminds me of the era of yellow journalism which was back in the late 1800s.  Yellow journalism (for the non-history buffs) is the act of reporting from a biased point of view.

Most of our news people I think fall into this category.  They tell the story from the point of view they were hired to represent.  These reporters are not journalists.  They are commentators. 

I think it is sad that we have put so much importance on how someone looks on camera rather than on what they are reporting.  Honestly I don’t want someone to tell me their opinion.  I don’t want a news report to make me go do research.  I want it to inform me of the details so that I can form my own opinion.

Unfortunately now we are dealing with too many reporters not digging up stories because they are good stories.  We are getting reporters taking the facts and twisting them to fit their own biases.  I find this very patronizing and manipulative.  I just want the facts.  I’ll decide for myself the conclusion to draw from those facts.  Believe it or not I can think for myself.

Now we have stations on tv that spew out either all the Republican conservative rhetoric or the Democratic progressive viewpoint.  Of the two I think the worst is the Republicans at getting the information wrong but they are both guilty of it. 

The only stations I see giving a somewhat unbiased point of view are the public television shows (which I don’t watch often).  It seems like if you work for a particular network you only the point of view of that network instead of having an actual story based on facts.

Perhaps if our news outlets had some journalistic integrity, the American public could make better informed decisions.  It is a sad state of affairs when our media has slipped back into the practices of over a hundred years ago.

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