Publisher’s Message – August 2016
As we enter the month of August 2016, I have a ton of thoughts on my mind. A lot of them are generated by what has been taking place in our country. The Orlando shooting, blue lives matter, black lives matter, all lives matter. And then we are in a presidential election year, and I love the political process. As it relates to news, I’m traditionally a channel hopper, and a quick reader of many publications. I’m fascinated, and often frustrated, at the liberties that some journalists take in reporting the news. For I think those liberties are often steering with opinion to instill fear in hopes of driving up their own popularity, viewership, and readership. Print journalist, and their publications, are actually the least offender of taking liberties, as it’s the easiest to reference, and to hold accountable. Broadcast media is the worst offender, and they are the least consistent with their values as it relates to important situations. Oh, how I miss Walter Cronkite.
This brings me to what I think is perhaps the biggest issue we have going on right now in our nation, and it is trickling down to our youth. It’s the lack of accountability, respect, and realization of consequences, and I believe our major broadcast news outlets are to blame.
The media is quite powerful, and is the greatest influence on the people of this great nation. Freedom of the press is a cherished and wonderful thing, but it should always be handled delicately as privilege. “Breaking News” is always lacking in facts, but the lack of facts should not be filled in with journalistic opinion. Perhaps they don’t break the news with just a short video that doesn’t show all the context of an event until they gather more facts. I know, that will never happen, as they are all too eager to scoop the other networks. But this is a serious issue. It makes opinions come into play. If someone is shown being thrown to the ground by an officer, and being lit up with a Taser, they should have all the facts that led to this situation. What if the person was asked to put his hands up at least five times or more, and then some random person finally hit record? The video alone is out of context, and without reporting all the facts makes the officer out to be the bad guy. Then they end the breaking news with “the officer is on suspension.” I’m friends with a lot of law enforcement officers, and the last thing they want to do is use a weapon or Taser on someone.
Lacking facts in reporting has serious consequences, and my humble opinion it’s teaching an entire generation a lack of accountability and respect.
As always, thank you for reading The Park Press, and I look forward to the great things to come.