"REPORTING The News"
Thank you Carol from Michigan for suggesting this topic. Anyone who has a topic they would like to see discussed, click on the CONTACT ME tab in the menu and send me an email. I will not use your name and location if you do not want that mentioned. Comments can be left in the comment box below the post. So on to the topic of reporting the news. Let me quote a statement from Denzel Washington which I think sums it up quite well. A link to that video is also provided.
"If you don't read the newspaper you're uninformed. If you do read it you're misinformed. What is the long term affect of to much information? One of the affects is the need to be first. Not even to be true anymore. So what a responsibility you all have. (speaking to a reporter) To be, to tell the truth. Not just to be first, but to tell the truth. We live in a society now it's just first, who cares? Get it out there. We don't care who it hurts, we don't care who we destroy, we don't care if it's true. Just say it, sell it. Anything you practice you'll get good at. Including BS." Here is the link to that clip. https://cr-author.news/DenzelClip
Much of this controversy started during the 2016 election campaign year between now President Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. This is NOT a political post. There has always been some lesser concerns about the accuracy of news stories, but 2016 raised major concerns for people. Many questionable websites sprang up to capitalize on this interesting to say the least, campaign year. Which led to the phrase "Fake News." Here's a link to an interesting article on that subject., and the Wikipedia explanation as well.
What is the actual job of any reporting source? In theory, most people would say any source that reports the news SHOULD do just that. Report the news. Report it in a fair and equal, as well as unbiased format. All of the controversy surrounding "Fake News" bears that statement out. Any reputable source does not just report a story without first verifying the source, as well as the facts. There are many reliable news wire services that news agencies use to get world news. Local news stations also receive them from their parent network as well as other sources. Your local news is usually reported by the local stations news reporters. These sources are usually always accurate because they involve direct interviews with people and municipal agencies. Therefore, it comes directly from the source.
With "Fake News," it consists of propaganda that consists of deliberating misinforming the public or hoaxes spread most commonly on the internet. The media has a TREMENDOUS responsibility before they report on topics without properly verifying the source and the facts. Most take that responsibility quite seriously. During the 2016 campaign, many news sources lost a tremendous degree of credibility. Ask yourself, how many times did you read or listen to a report of a story where the information varies greatly between the reporting sources? Some variation I consider to be normal. People will report things differently, or in their own style, and their sources may be different. However, the essence of the topic and facts should still be the same.
Any news source certainly has the right to be pro or con a specific view. Meaning, the left or right. Conservation or liberal. Many sources will make that affiliation perfectly clear. If you as a reader, believes only in that position, you will follow them. That is your right. My question to you is this. IS THAT REALLY BEING INFORMED? Does it matter which side of the fence you're on? With any topic, you as an individual should be able to listen to all sides in order to make an intelligent decision. If you listen to only one side, how can you consider your decision to be an informed one? You can't. It's not. Keep in mind, there are always two sides. There is nothing wrong with liking parts of what both sides have to say. Yes, "We the people" have to assume some responsibility for this as well. Let's not dump it all on the media. They only report, we decide. The tabloid and magazine business is a multi-billion dollar a year business. Let's face it, people like it. True or not, people like to read about the celebrities they follow. I call it the "WOW FACTOR." True or not, I would guess celebrities like the publicity as well until a story gets out of hand or is totally not true or to personal. With today's video technology, you can take a picture of someone where it looks as if you're right there with them, when in actuality, your a hundred yards away.
In summary. This writer does believe that the media has a responsibility to report in an unbiased, equal and fair fashion. Be sure their sources are verified and credible. They have a huge responsibility to the public that puts their faith in what they report as being true and accurate. The SPJ, (Society of Professional Jouralists) ,Code of Ethics states,
"The SPJ Code of Ethics is a statement of abiding principles supported by explanations and position papers that address changing journalistic practices. It is not a set of rules, rather a guide that encourages all who engage in journalism to take responsibility for the information they provide, regardless of medium."
Thank you ..... CJR