I am wondering what happened to the media and journalism in general. We are constantly bombarded with biases in every direction from Fox News to CNN to conservative outlets.
As a former journalist, editor and radio reporter/news director, I am appalled at what has happened to a profession I once loved and was proud to be a part of at one time. When I went to journalism school in the late ’60s, we were held to an incredibly high standard for reporting ONLY THE FACTS. If, at any time, our personal bias bled into the story, it was cut out or, if it was for a class grade, it was automatically an F. We were required to check all facts with at least three sources and more if available. We shared all valid viewpoints. It was not always easy, but I took pride in doing that — reporting only the facts.
Unfortunately, today’s media has gone from reporting the facts (and verifying them) to “entertainment” and sound bites — worried too often about ratings and advertising revenue. I find that if a story is important to me, I have to do my own research and verify the facts myself. Sadly, I don’t think most people are willing to do that and depending on their own personal opinions, they accept what is provided as truth. This is part of the problem with society today and the large political divide — we have become a culture of sound bites, rumor and innuendo.
I grew up being told in church that money is the “root of all evil” and I believe it. It has corrupted our politics, our government and our media along with much else. I can only hope that the next generation has greater aspirations for themselves and for society and will work toward correcting these flaws. And I hope, and pray, that the next generation of journalists will find satisfaction in returning to reporting only the facts and ensuring that the public has all the information needed to make an informed decision about the direction of their lives, their government and the future of this country.
Diana R. Halleman