Newspaper and TV outlets are breaking journalistic traditions and supporting the most liberal political perspectives in America. They are becoming a truly formidable force given the influence they have on everyday Americans.
Journalism has historically been presented in two distinct manners, reporting and editorial commentary. The lines between these techniques have blurred in recent years.
Reporters are supposed to offer readers facts. They may be helpful or harmful to either side of the political spectrum, but they should be unbiased.
One of the major roles of the press is to act as watchdog for the average citizen. With this in mind our forefathers added protection of the press to the Constitution. This ensures that the press will never be censored, and it will always have the ability to keep Americans informed about current events and political issues.
It’s folly to think that any writer can completely cast off his or her biases when reporting the news. Informed readers must appreciate that some tilting of the news is inevitable. It should be considered when reading or listening to a news article. But if the slant becomes to extreme the piece should not be part of the reporting of a newspaper.
This may seem like a relatively unimportant issue, but so many readers form opinions about current events based upon what they read and hear in the media. This includes commentary disguised as reporting.
The editorial section is the place where opinions of editors and journalists should be domiciled. This serves as a warning to readers that facts are being presented in such a way as to move public opinion.
In the editorial section the senior editors of the newspaper offer readers biased analysis of critical issues such as health care reform. In this commentary a newspaper may vociferously support one side of the debate. The experienced reader understands that writers are interpreting news facts as they offer their perspectives on controversial issues. While reading these pieces the reader can make mental adjustments to reflect his or her inherent biases.
Commentary includes opinions offered by columnists that are extraordinarily biased. In fact newspapers encourage readers to respond positively and negatively to these articles. Supposedly the authors are “experts” and/or experienced about the subjects they write about. Note: This essay qualifies as an op-ed because the author is offering his personal assessments of how the press is behaving, and whether it is adhering to generally accepted journalistic principles.
How is the press doing? If you ask President Trump he would say the press is overly critical of his administration. He would say many news outlets are liberal-based and are exaggerating and misrepresenting the facts. He would say the liberal press is responsible for “fake news” in an attempt to discredit and destroy his administration. Keep in mind the president is not really directing his venom towards editorials and commentary. Rather he is saying that reporting of facts has morphed into reporting of opinion.
The liberal press would counter Trump’s criticism by indicating that he is irresponsible, making a mockery of the Constitution, trying to take money from the needy and reduce taxes for the affluent, starting wars with Iran and North Korea, destroying our health care system, etc.
All this may be true and would be entirely appropriate commentary if delineated in the opinion section of the newspaper. But if a reporter wrote that Trump’s health care plan is tantamount to murder, as the needy will not receive essential medical services, it’s inappropriate.
Another issue that weighs heavily on Americans is that the press thinks it has a divine right to interpret news for the uninformed public. The primary function of the press as mentioned earlier is to report the facts. Nobody including our forefathers ordained the press as the final word about controversy.
Exacerbating the situation are efforts by reporters trying to scoop stories. Often times they cut corners to publish a story before ensuring that all their reporting is substantiated. This has resulted in a string of firings at major news organizations.
Further, news stories are fraught with numerous sources that are anonymous or unnamed. Who are these sources, many readers ask? How can readers be sure of the truth when so many leakers and “deep throats” are dominating reporting?
The liberal press decided to destroy Trump the minute he made them look like fools after the 2016 Election. Never in modern times has the press so obviously and viciously attacked a duly elected president even before he began his term in office.
Readers beware. The press does not have noble intentions. Reporters are overstepping their bounds and intentionally trying to mislead the public. In the long run this strategy will backfire.