I’ll admit that prejudice and, as a result, inaccuracies in reporting, do affect much of the main-stream media’s coverage of local, national and world events, but blaming that in general for all of America’s problems is irrational and just plain wrong.
Sure, the political leanings and beliefs of many major media outlets are blatantly obvious in how they cover – or don’t cover -- a story. It’s evident in the lack of depth within such stories and the one-sided, unfair approach to how the news is reported. It is the antithesis of quality journalism, but the inherent problem of a biased media and its lack of credibility goes much deeper than just a bunch of prejudiced pseudo-journalists who guide the news content based on their vision of pertinent events. Much deeper.
How deep? Just take a look in the mirror (myself included).
Of late, there has been a considerable amount of discussion about how the public receives its “news of the day.” And, to be honest, it’s rather sickening and has played a huge role in our political process and the candidates who are being supported.
Put more succinctly and to the point, it’s not a stretch to say the vast majority of American citizens receive their “news” from entities like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube or some half-incoherent blog put out by someone who wouldn’t know quality journalism from an Aesop’s Fable.
Contributors to these “news sources” have even started posting “fake news” (aka lies) and believe it or not, people are buying into it. They think anything that appears on Facebook or Twitter must be true, and they react accordingly. The results have been both tragic and humorous. A lot of this junk is just that, and you don’t have to be Columbo to figure that out, but a lot of folks just aren’t that astute and can be led over a cliff like their fellow lemmings.
The most obvious result of this “news-gathering” laziness is the fact that a man like Donald Trump can win the election for president of the United States. Even the staunchest Republican or Trump supporter would have to admit he or she was stunned by the fact Trump could carry the day back on that first Tuesday in November.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton was the answer either, but absolutely no one a year and a half ago would have predicted “The Donald” would beat Clinton so convincingly. No one.
What has caused this phenomenon to occur? Granted, the primary reason has to be that Americans throughout this great land (not just Los Angeles and New York) were completely fed up with the “status quo” in Washington, D.C. and countless state governments. They were so sick of it, in fact, they were willing to support a blowhard egomaniac like Trump rather than elect yet another member of the D.C. elite. They want change and they want it now. Hard to blame them.
But another major factor in all this political confusion is the undeniable fact that the average American is just plain lazy when it comes to doing his or her newsgathering homework. Instead of picking up a newspaper (I know I’m prejudiced, but it’s also the truth) and reading an in-depth story about an issue, they rely on Facebook nonsense. Rather than read a competent news story that covers all sides of an issue, reiterates the pertinent history of the matter and goes into great detail about all the nuances the public should be privy to, they take the easy way out – and it’s harming this country at an alarming rate.
They choose to ignore radio or television reports or documentaries that examine each issue in minute detail without inserting the reporter’s biased beliefs in an attempt to sway public opinion. That, apparently, requires too much of an effort and would take 10-15 minutes out of their valuable day. What a pity – and we’re all paying for it.
So what do they do to fill that “news” void? They rely on the morons who are posting their “knowledge,” or lack thereof, on Facebook or read someone’s news blog that summarizes a complicated and multi-faceted topic in two or three inane sentences that shed absolutely no significant light on the subject. None. But somehow they kid themselves into thinking their indolent approach is good enough to actually keep them properly informed. Are you kidding?
Proper, truthful and fair news reporting has been one of the cornerstones of America’s history. It’s imperative for it to remain that way. To even suggest that freedom of the press is something we need to stifle is sheer folly and will lead to the ultimate demise of this country.
What can we do about it? That’s relatively easy. Turn to a valid and reliable news source that precisely covers all aspects of an issue. Take the time to educate yourself – properly – about what is really going on. You’ll benefit greatly from the effort and so will America.
Yes, it will take some genuine effort, but isn’t it worth it? The time to start is now.