Will A Moral Responsibility Be Experienced By THE NEWS HEADLINES Media?
Much has been said lately about the significantly irresponsible news media. For those of us who remember Walter Cronkite, we are amazed by the sleazy depths to which our news media can go nowadays. Their present desire for Anna Nichole Smith’s loss of life perfectly illustrates those depths. It is commonly speculated that the drive for increasing income by the corporate owners of the news headlines shops, along with fierce and unanticipated competition from the cable stations and Internet blogs have motivated a new concentrate upon the lurid.
I might add the media consultants who demand that appealing to the lowest common denominator, easy news, brings and keeps readers or audiences. In spite of ourselves, we are especially fascinated by the downfalls and humiliations of our anointed celebrities. But my concern is not over this sleaziness. After all, we can find still, if we search, a few shops that do concentrate upon the key world and local information. A deeper and more insidious concern is the credibility of our journalists.
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I believe that most people get into journalism because they have a perfect of finding and posting the reality about the people and conditions that form our culture. And sometimes a bending is compelled by those pressures or complete lack of the truth. While I am aware that most news outlets have an expressed, or more unexpressed often, political leaning, there remains the moral responsibility to be truthful.
But what’s truth in the framework of reporting on events and people? Is it still being honest if we emphasize those areas of the story that strengthen our point of view while de-emphasizing or ignoring the ones that don’t? Are we serving our audiences and visitors if we regularly vilify those in the opposing party while blindly praising and overlooking the faults of these in ours? Or is that being disingenuous just? Should the press be held accountable, as are the rest of us, when they libel or slander? Sure, a supermarket tabloid will lose a slander lawsuit sometimes, but do the major newspapers or information channels face such sanctions seldom.
When the news press are criticized because of their dishonesty, bias or hypocrisy, they weep freedom of partisanship and speech and few want to take them on. They have grown to be above reproach relatively, compared to some other group. And yet no other segment of our society can so influence public opinion and political dealings dramatically.
The press no longer just survey on events, they form and even create the occasions. They can make or break political candidates, drive legislation, manipulate the economy into and out of recessions, and even alter foreign policy. They have become a crucial element of our society above reproach largely.