The Decline of Journalism

Grant McGinty

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      Journalism is defined as the act of professional writing for news broadcasts and newspapers, so why are many of today’s “Journalists” acting like complete amateurs?  A good journalist sites the source where he or she gets a statistic, quote, or other background information, but many of today’s news agencies constantly do not name their sources.Causing them to throw around baseless claims as demonstrated by the Trump-Russia story. The mass cherry picking of information and the use of nameless sources when publishing stories by the corporate news media has led to a growing divide in our nation, which has resulted in consequences with unwieldy repercussions.

   According to Rassmussen Reports, “Surveying finds that 63% of Americans believe most major news organizations are more concerned with getting a story first then with getting it right(Rasm). A prime example of this is when the news media tried to blame President Trump for not shaking a disabled boy’s hand, but if you watched the full conference Trump did in fact greet the boy. Further studying of the event showed the young boy wasn’t even trying to get a handshake, but rather he was trying to show the President a press badge he just earned. Of course, this didn’t stop self righteous virtual signalers like J.K Rowling, and The Washington Post, a media giant, from jumping out and making false accusations in their constant quest to malign the President even though quick research disproved the claim.(“Trump Didn’t Ignore Disabled Child.”) The recent Project Veritas exposure of CNN  furthers the narrative. A CNN producer,John Bonifield , said this about their view on journalism “It’s a business, people are like the media has an ethical phssssss…  All the nice cutesy little ethics that used to get talked about in journalism school you’re just like, that’s adorable. That’s adorable. This is a business.” He went on to mention how he doesn’t believe the Trump-Russia story has evidence,but CNN continues the narrative for the ratings(Evangelista , Nicholas).Journalism is about the truth and the truth should get you ratings, but CNN decides that furthering their own political agenda is a better route.


    Another big fiasco is that journalists are secretly emailing political figures helping them advance their agendas.  For example, New York Times contributor, John Harwood, emailed Clinton campaign manager John Podesta numerous times with strategies or advice to help the campaign. The most infamous example of a news network collaborating with a campaign was when CNN’s Donna Brazile leaked debate questions to Hillary Clinton to help her defeat opponent Bernie Sanders. Journalists should indeed interview and interact with political figures, but supplying them private information and egging them on and boosting their campaign is not their job(WikiLeaks exposes media’s secret support of Clinton). As an ethical journalist, facts should be presented good and bad to the reader ,so he or she can come up with their own conclusion.Secretly working against a side you personally don’t agree with is bias in a field where there should be none.

  The Society Of Professional Journalists Code Of Ethics, has always stated to hide a source if they request, but you the writer have to provide the readers with a detailed reason as to why the source wanted anonymity (such as being fired from their job or fear of getting hurt or blackmailed)(SPJ Code of Ethics).  Many journalists are using unnamed sources incorrectly.  Penning stories with very incriminating subject matter with no evidence, hiding the source without stating as to why, and posting it without batting an eye. For example, CNN published a story from an anonymous source claiming Trump officials had ties to a Russian Investment fund(Hannity,Sean). The story was quickly proven false after it was published, but it is disgraceful that CNN doesn’t take the time to verify bold accusations like those made in that article. After CNN was exposed for publishing the erroneous material, the news agency deleted the story from their site,and CNN fired the people who worked on it. A multi-million dollar news company allowing their reporters journalists to post fake stories with zero evidence and unnamed sources is laughable at best, shameful at worst.A true Journalist is mandated to investigate the claim and to research the source thoroughly before even thinking about writing the story, but journalism is all about having the juicy headline these days not informing the people about what is going on.

  Journalism is a shell of its former self these days. Once a reputable career responsible for exposing and providing the truth to people such as the Watergate scandal. Nowadays journalists have been caught red-handed with lies, fabricated stories, and untrustworthy sources more than ever now. If these websites want to survive; if being a journalist is going to be reputable career again like it once was, the community needs to start holding their news reporters to a higher standard, making sure their stories are well thought out and honest. Journalist’s jobs are to open people’s eyes to things they’d be blind to otherwise, but if they keep presenting half-truths or flat out false information the public will cease to find them credible; which could be damning if and when a crucial life threatening message needs to be heard. It is sort of like “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”. Journalists keep clambering these terrible things are going to happen, but are providing rocky to no evidence,so they lose the trust of the people. One day there may be a big scandal or crisis unraveled by the media, yet the public may not even believe them due to the reckless manner they are  handling the news now.


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