In the 2016 election year, people are in need of true journalism more than ever. The unfortunate reality is that honorable and integrity driven reporting is dying. With few options to choose from, Americans are becoming more divided thanks to mega media groups and the popularity of positive reinforcement reporting. With today’s news a person can choose to only hear the perspective they want to, thus further paving the way for a divided country.
Facts are no longer central to newsworthy publications, and the branding of journalism is becoming more and more hypocritical each day. News is much easier to receive through electronic means, or social media such as twitter, rather than print. John Oliver and Last Week Tonight produced an episode covering the fall of print newspapers and true journalism. In the video, Oliver expands on how his program and many other reporting services depend on local journalists to get their facts and information out. Without true eyewitness analysis and coverage, mega media outlets become talking heads with no legitimate content.
The First Amendment of the United States Constitution outlines specific rights to the “Free Press” which assures their ability to report the facts without fear of negative repercussions. Cornell University does a great job overviewing and defining “The Press.” Today, the free press is no longer a powerful force in mainstream media. It is much more common to see skewed and one-sided perspectives that feed into a pre-existing political perspective that thrives on reinforcement. Fox News caters to right leaning viewers while MSNBC takes a hard left. The Millennial generation is faced with the challenge of sifting through thousands of articles and news posts that lack substance, facts, and truthfulness. The press is not free if those who claim to represent it fail to keep it free from tainted and biased reporting.
According to Pew Research, 61% of Millennials prefer to secure their news from social media outlets like Facebook or Twitter. Unfortunately, as most people reading this article would know, Facebook and Twitter are skewed. Our social media platforms show us the information we want to see and ignore the information we don’t want to see. The fact is that true journalism is blunt, to the point, and many times harsher than we’d like it. The need for real unbiased reporting is massive, and the country is in a downward spiral that will only be repaired by those of us who choose to report on the truth instead of what is “trending”.