BREAKING NEWS – I have a secret.
I hate reading and watching the news. That’s right! You didn’t misread that. This 23-year-old journalism student hates news.
I’ll even let you in on my little secret… It’s because I believe that most so-called news is unfair and biased.
It’s not that surprising actually. Did you know that numerous studies show that more than half of Americans feel the same way? Jeff Hare Jr. said, “I feel like it’s hard to trust anything you see or read anymore.”
Maybe Trump is onto something after all.
So, what’s really the big deal? Unfairness and bias in the media defies the basic principles of journalism ethics.
Today, almost everyone has the ability to share ‘news’ coverage quickly and to a large audiences. It doesn’t take much to take a video of what seems like police brutality, share it on social media, and have it go viral. That is why it is so important to have reliable news sources who we can trust to tell us what really happened.
That’s the whole point. We are fortunate enough to live in a country where we can proudly voice our opinions, but when it comes to knowing the facts, we heavily rely on news and media outlets for clarity.
That’s kind of hard to do when there’s so much distrust for the news media.
Personally, I find it hard at times to even find a balanced story that shows two points of view equally.
But who do we blame? We could blame the writers/ broadcasters.
Journalism student Kathryn Higgins said, “I find it hard sometimes not to get invested in a story. I often find myself adding my opinion to my reporting, or structuring a story and it’s quotes to serve my bottom line.”
We could perhaps blame the editors or the companies for letting bias news be released.
But I also think some of the blame must go to the audience. I think that most people tend to blur the lines between a reporter and a blogger or columnist, who are free to share their opinion and be selective in the information they share.
Ultimately, it comes down to the sad realization that we may need to start fact-checking every news story and demanding people be held accountable if we want to salvage the reputation of journalism. Journalists are failing the people. Journalists are the veins of society, keeping information pumping from the source to the people. Without a high standard of ethics, there would be no trust at all. We must try harder as reporters to leave our points of view at home. We have a duty to our people to share nothing but the facts, and let the story do the talking.
While it’s not always easy to remain objective, impartial reporting builds trust and confidence.