Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Our media is a mess.

A free press is vital to democracy, so how about a responsible press?

Seems like they’re all competing to be the biggest muckrakers and sensationalists.

It’s quite obvious that one of the motivations in mass shootings is the urge for the spotlight; fame for alienated loners. Yet, even venerated news outlets like the New York Times continue to publish the names of the perpetrators. I suppose all news outlets figure ‘the public has the right to know’ and if they don’t mention the name, other sources will. But does the public really care? I have a feeling we would all value less gun violence over finding out these identities.

One example of questionable choices by the media is a recent televised Hillary Clinton town hall event. The network TV reporter asked questions about her E-mails. The invited citizens wanted to hear about women’s issues, gun control, policy and plans.
How many times has the media reported on her private server, compared to the coverage for her issue statements: clean renewable energy initiative, economic policy proposals to encourage long term growth through profit sharing tax credit, revamping capital gains tax and reforming executive pay; her continuing efforts to fight terrorism, universal preschool, lowering health care costs, modernizing the energy infrastructure, cutting interest rates on student loans, restoring voting integrity, helping people with disabilities, etc, etc?

The public has a right to know those things also. Why do we have to dig through websites to get it?

There is still such a thing as truth and facts. The media tries to be very accurate when it comes to information about news events. Meanwhile there are candidates for the most important decision facing a democracy - choosing a president -  who are not challenged when they ‘stretch the truth’. In the interest of appearing unbiased, we get presented with smear tactics with no rebuttal. Character matters, which is why the media should challenge those who recycle inaccuracies. More fact checking PLEASE!

The pundits tell us a section of the voting public wants ‘Washington outsiders’ as an explanation for why certain candidates are ahead in the polls. But it’s also the result of the choice of news messages. In what seems increasingly to be a popularity contest (when it ought to be more like a job interview), name recognition is the ultimate prize. The media is complicit in pushing certain people to the front.
And they should really think about what they’re doing to this country.

No comments:

Post a Comment