The Low State of Journalism.

  • by:
  • 08/21/2022

William Tecumseh Sherman, a Civil War general not known for his delicacy of speech, once said, “If I had my choice, I would kill every reporter in the world, but I am sure we would be getting reports from Hell before breakfast.”

“If I had my choice, I would kill every reporter in the world, but I am sure we would be getting reports from Hell before breakfast.”

Like many people today, Sherman detested reporters and journalists. On another occasion, he stated: “I hate newspapermen. They come into camp and pick up their camp rumors and print them as facts. I regard them as spies, which, in truth, they are.”

Regardless of political persuasion, Americans have lost faith in today’s mainstream news media.

Reporting on a 2018 poll inquiring about trust in major institutions, the Columbia Journalism Review found print and television news at rock-bottom, exceeded in the matter of distrust only by Congress. When asked why they distrusted the media, about 45 percent of responders cited factors such as bias, inaccuracy, and “fake news.”

[caption id="attachment_13343" align="alignnone" width="2280"] Image by the Knight Foundation[/caption]

The results of the Mueller investigation have brought certain television and print outlets to new lows.

Some have lost viewers or readers, while others, accused of Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS), have faced a barrage of criticism for their bias and for the amount of time they gave — and are giving — to the investigation and the Mueller report at the expense of other newsworthy stories.

It should also be noted, as some commentators have pointed out, that these same reporters and journalists have done little to investigate the Clinton campaign, its connections to Russia and to certain European intelligence agencies, the illegal infiltration into the Trump campaign, and the alleged attempt by certain U.S. intelligence agencies to destroy an elected president.

Whether you are liberal or conservative, that last possibility ought to scare you to death.

The Columbia Journalism Review also reported that, when asked how journalists might once again gain their trust, people cited such factors as greater accuracy in the news, less bias, and transparency, including the provision of fact-checking resources.

In other words, Journalism 101.

In The Elements of Journalism, Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel came up with nine guiding principles for reporting the news:

1) Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth.

2) Its first loyalty is to citizens.

3) Its essence is a discipline of verification.

4) Its practitioners must maintain an independence from those they cover.

5) It must serve as an independent monitor of power.

6) It must provide a forum for public criticism and compromise.

7) It must strive to make the significant interesting and relevant.

8) It must keep the news comprehensive and proportional.

9) Its practitioners must be allowed to exercise their personal conscience.

As to how those in the media might regain the respect of the American people, the answer is simple: Practice the nine principles of journalism.

The contrast between these principles and the debacle of the last few years raises some obvious questions.

Do journalists recognize that their first obligation is to the truth? Do reporters practice a discipline of verification, i.e. do they have solid sources for their stories? Does the press serve as an independent monitor of power? Do television and print media keep the news comprehensive and proportional?

In many cases, the answer to each of these questions is no.

As to how those in the media might regain the respect of the American people, the answer is simple: Practice the nine principles of journalism.

This post Rumor and Bias, Inaccuracy and Ignorance: The Low State of Journalism was originally published on Intellectual Takeout by Jeff Minick.

Opinion

View All

BREAKING: Holy Land Sunday Special Digs Into the 'Cosmic Airblast' That Destroyed Ancient Cities

'This event did take place," Posobiec said. "They call it a cosmic airburst, that destroyed an entire...

Biden Targets Charlie Kirk, Jack Posobiec, Other Conservative Figures Using Censorship Org's 'Enemies List'

Kirk and Posobiec were both among those targeted by private consortium, contracted by the Department ...

LifeSite News Founder to Lead Prayer Live from Same Planned Parenthood Where FBI Target Mark Houck Used to Pray

In a video announcement exclusively provided to Human Events, John-Henry Westen tells the community t...

WATCH: Matt Gaetz Tells Charlie Kirk How He Beat the DOJ's 'Smear Campaign' Sex Trafficking Probe

'I learned it from President Trump. I learned that you don't let the process be the punishment.'...

© 2022 Human Events, Privacy Policy