The Tragic Death Of True Journalism

Maybe the biggest loser on election day wasn't Hillary Clinton or the Democratic Party, but the mainstream media and print journalism. There was a time when true journalism involved finding out the who, what, when, where, and why of a particular news story, and doing it in an unbiased way. You knew as a journalist, that reporting the news in a fair and balanced way with facts and accurate quotes, was essential to maintaining credibility to the public at large. Your credibility was a sacred cow and you never wanted to tarnish it under any circumstances. Unfortunately, that time has passed, and the journalism of today has devolved into a sort of faux journalism. This transformation didn't just happen overnight. It has been a slow and steady evolution that finally reached a crescendo this past year.

Back in the 1980's, some may remember the Palestinian uprising, the Intifada. Palestinians were angry at the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and proceeded to throw rocks and molotov cocktails at Israelis. That then progressed into bombing busses, cafes, and nightclubs. The mainstream media always referred to these Palestinians as "freedom fighters".  To most, freedom fighter conjures up a certain image in your mind. That image would be of a Revolutionary War fighter and a good guy, fighting to gain freedom from a tyrannical government. However, they weren't freedom fighters, they were terrorists. The mainstream media couldn't call them terrorists though, because it would paint these Palestinians in a bad light. The media overwhelmingly empathized with the Palestinian people and supported their uprising, so they subtly used the term freedom fighters to influence the American people. Words matter, and how the media describes the news, has a way of influencing the audience. It is a subtle form of bias, but effective nonetheless. Those subtleties went away this past year though, as the veil was lifted to expose their blatant bias.

The mainstream media decided this election was far too important for them to sit idly by and be true journalists, and thus took it upon themselves to help the American people make a smart choice. By choosing what stories to report, and more importantly, by choosing which stories not to report, they became the gatekeepers. By choosing to focus on Donald Trump and his sexual innuendo issues, his Twitter rants, his hate speech, and his outright bombastic personality, they chose to paint a picture of an uncouth man who was unfit for the White House. By ignoring Benghazi, the email scandal, the Clinton Foundation issues, and the WikiLeaks releases of damaging emails, they failed to be even-handed and exposed their bias. They clearly made a full transformation from being journalists, to being spin doctors, and openly and unabashedly rooting for Hillary Clinton. Even on election night, as other alternative news sources were giving results of who won each state, the mainstream media sat on that information and waited on telling their viewers, fearing it would lead to last minute voters casting ballots for Donald Trump.

What we witnessed this past year, was the tragic death of true journalism. Election night was just the final nail in the coffin. Oh, the death of journalism had been coming for a long time now. It was a slow and gradual death, that ended with a last gasp, as it passed away. Make no mistake, you can still find bits and pieces of true journalism from alternative sources, but the mainstream media and print journalism business have killed themselves. By choosing to forgo the tenets of real journalism, they failed the public in which they served. Thus, the public has increasingly decided to quit buying newspapers and watching the mainstream media shows. Without an audience, there is no revenue stream, and thus, the prospects of survival are dim. The media chose to ignore the Silent Majority in the Heartland, and failed to grasp that their worldview was vastly different than those sitting in the glass towers in New York City. The real tragedy is that they still haven't noticed the death certificate nailed on their front doors.


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