Monthly Archives: November 2008

Reliance on Journalists

Okay, I might have been venting a little when I posted my last piece called A True Professional. I was just feeling sorry for myself because I went to college majoring in journalism, I feel very passionately about it and I truly feel it is a calling and not just “anybody” can do it. I got caught up in reading other blogs, all damning newspapers to the bottom of hell and beyond and I got fed up. But I am calm now, feeling a lot better and less emotional.

The truth is, (ever wonder why people start with that? Like they were lying the whole time or something) blogs and citizen input has proven less valuable due to the fact that nothing is new or verifiable. Bloggers report on stories that have already been investigated, written up, edited and published by professionals.

This is comforting to me because this proves to me that journalists will have a fighting chance to regain their audience and their audiences’ trust and stick around—where would blogging be without them?

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A True Professional

Today, the words professional and journalist are becoming less and less important as journalism’s audience becomes more and more wary of what they’re reading. The trust between journalists and who they serve is hanging on by a string or, for a most people, has been breached, spit on, cast aside—people feel like they have been taken advantage of and they don’t like it, nor do they deserve it.

But there was such a time when people relied on journalists! There has always been suspicions on the audience’s side—they have always been quick to judge. Audience’s are outspoken, loud and let it be known when they are upset or satisfied. But at this present time, audiences are losing faith—only now they have the tools to fight back.

But before you judge them, at least know what it means to be a professional journalist. The Society of Professional Journalists defines their code of ethics in more than ten languages.

It is defined as

believing that the public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy.The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues. Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty. Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist’s credibility. Members of the Society share a dedication to ethical behavior and adopt this code to declare the Society’s principles and standards of practice.

No one seems to realize that by taking things into your own hands, refusing to read newspapers, refusing to listen to the news, they are hurting the very people they can trust (not the people they want to hurt—the CEOs and VPs that don’t care anymore if the audience doesn’t trust them, they’re financially secure) and killing a media forum society needs to survive.

This is a code of ethics that many journalists out there follow, with dedication and perseverance! Professional journalists who follow the Code of Ethics are responsible, sacrificial human beings. They knew that they were not getting into this sometimes cutthroat industry for the money. They were doing it to inform and connect with the public. They felt a calling to this world, that few hear!

When the audience takes control of the press, it could be more dangerous than anyone could have imagined. When most bloggers write, they are not following any code of ethics, they could care less about anything other than getting their opinion out. They are NO better than the same reporters and corporations that they are blaming for slanted biased journalism.

The Dominating Rotten Egg

There are still worthy journalists out there, attempting to fight the good fight. But much the way a rotten egg can stink up an entire kitchen of good food, slanted, prejudicial, presumptive journalists are ruining the industry for the more neutral, report-the-facts journalists.

What I’ve said before still stands, there is no such thing as objectivity. However, there is such a thing as a professional, ethical journalist, though they may be few and far between.

I do believe this country as a whole will suffer if society does not accept the fact that journalism requires training, a certain oath to be as fair as possible and report all sides. Journalists used to command respect and were feared because they would print the truth—even if that meant stepping on some toes. Journalists have lost this reverence and deservingly so, with the way they have been conducting themselves.

But this is no reason to give up entirely on newspapers and the media. This is more of a reason to educate yourself, realize there are filters in the news you obtain and take note of the contradictions in the reporting.

But the way the public has reacted is shameful. To jump to the conclusion that every journalist is now tainted and biased is hypocritical. To allow every individual in the media industry to feel like they are criminals because their bosses and their more powerful and influential co-workers serve up their biases on the front page or in the top stories on television is truly a tragedy.

As the saying goes, be careful what you wish for. Whatever the majority wants, the majority eventually gets. If this nation continues to lose faith in the media, rather than attempt to fix it, we will get what we wished for; more people will lose their jobs in the media, more will suffer, less will go to school to become this communication line between government, schools, events, tragedies, etc. and the “people” and what we have been taking for granted will be taken from us.

Obama, It Is

The people have spoken and more importantly, the electoral college has spoken and our President-elect for 2009 to 2012 is Barack Obama.

Congratulations to both campaigns, each fought dirty and one prevailed.

After eight years, the Democrats have the White House again and we can all hope that every U.S. citizen benefits.

I do wonder, though…

Left wing fanatics and over-zealous liberals have been relentless in their hounding of the Bush administration and the Republican Party. Now that they have who they chose to be their president, will the right-winged, extreme conservatives relish in their turned tables? Will they mock and critisize President-elect Barack Obama whenever something goes astray?

This is a shot in the dark, but I believe conservatives will be seeking revenge.

Everyone knows that whatever party owns the White House, is never the popular party. Not in the sense that they can escape scrutiny beyond the necessary investigations. 

Obama has his work cut out for him. He is indeed entering the presidency during trubulent times. Much like current President G. W. Bush’s second term, his is set up to disappoint. He must prove to the people that he can face the economic problems head-on and overcome what many see as impossibilities.

Good luck Barak Obama, the country is counting on you.

The 2008 Presidential Election

I won’t drone on about this years election, it’s tough enough trying to avoid all the slanted talk coming straight out of the media.

But I do want to point out something many of you may already know about.  Journalism.org has been keeping tabs on these powerful networks that serve as a communication line to the people. They had some interesting discoveries about the election.

What they discovered only underlines the point of this blog. The slanted way the media reports is disgusting! Surprisingly, FOX seemed to be the most balanced when it came to negative and positive reporting for both McCain and Obama. I’m not saying that they’re exempt from bias’. Having watched one program on FOX, they seem to be rellishing in the fact that they are more balanced (when it comes to the presidential election.) Which hardly seems like anything that should warrant praise!

The media has become so partisan that when they actually do what they’re supposed to do they expect a pat on the back! Hah! They should simply touch on the statistics instead of gloat the way they’ve been doing; only making themselves look worse.

Either way, I encourage you to see the website linked here about the statistics journalism.org found. It is truly interesting.

Their website is also on my blogroll under A Watchful Eye on the Media.