The Re-Education Of America

Americans need to be re-educated to the fact that there are still solid, objective news outlets like the New York Times, The LA Times, The Washington Post, CBS and PBS. These are not left-wing news outlets, they are legitimate mainstream news operations that do their best to lean neither left nor right and can be depended upon for fairness and objectivity – or as Carl Bernstein calls it, “The best available version of the truth.”

Overseas, the BBC, France24 and Euronews also practice traditional journalism and can be accessed on the Internet. France24 is available on YouTube. In the US market, thankfully, CBS News appears intent upon returning to its former status at the very top of the broadcast journalism food chain.   A position it held for many years, until profits trumped public service.   

Across the country there is excellent reportage being done on a daily basis by journalists who do what they do primarily because it matters.   Wherever you live, there are broadcast and print journalists working daily to bring you not infotainment, but actual news. They are working in service to our democracy.   They should be commended for that service just as we commend our military.

It is too often forgotten that freedom is dependent upon both the sword and the quill.   It is not unreasonable to advocate re-directing some of our massive military budget over to public broadcasting and investigative reporting at the nation’s remaining great newspapers.

There was no question of the traditional news outlets veracity, until biased, right-wing outlets like FOX News came along and declared their slanted version of the news to be the only correct version available. This nonsense poisoned the minds of millions of Americans, who were attracted to a slanted, entertainment-based version of the news they wanted to hear, rather than real, objective news that made them uncomfortable because it forced them to think. And so entertainment programming disguised as news drew millions of viewers to outlets like FOX and right-wing talk radio. The country was forever changed because of it.

The time is long past to re-educate Americans that real news outlets are still available, and that there is a difference between news broadcasts and entertainment programming designed not to ferret out the truth but to come up with a formula to garner the greatest profit possible, even if that means putting a biased show on the air disguised as legitimate news or writing a headline that reflects more fiction than fact.

Its’ time for America to regain a sense of pride in its Journalism. I’m not sure how to get it done, I just know that somehow we have got to do it – because right now, a great many Americans think fake news is real and real news is fake – and that my friends, is a formula for disaster.

One thought on “The Re-Education Of America”

  1. Ron,
    There is no longer any investigative objective Journalism in the US, it died 50 years ago. Now talking heads merely repeat what they see and hear on sister outlets – simply listen for the often repeated identical snarky “label of the day.” Most broadcasters could not compose an original 45-word story lead if their lives depended on it. Opinion has replaced fact, and objectivity is now defined by whatever political bent is dictated by the outlet’s management, which is in turn dictated by ownership (usually liberal – just check party affiliation). Information is no longer verified by multiple independent sources, it is simply repeated. So called verification is often based on “unidentified” sources, which no verification at all. “Academic” studies are no longer peer reviewed, at least not by real peers, and study procedures and findings are directed by whoever funded the study or controls tenure.
    The First Amendment’s protections were based on the theory that the press would be objective. Listen to any broadcast or read any printed story and see how much of what is being reported is based on opinion and speculation and how much is based on independently verified fact. For the most part you listening to and reading gossip.
    If journalism is to evolve out of the pulp fiction morass is now finds itself in, it needs to get back to the basics of Journalism 101 and forget about marketing strategies.

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