Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Gaggle Has Ruined Major Media


As a member of the press for many years, I am understandably upset with the shenanigans of major media.
While I was writing news for The Evening Tribune there was a concerted effort on the part of the editorial staff to assure the news was reported in a fair and straight-forward manner. Both Managing Editor Kelly Luvison and City Editor Neil Coombs read every submission for publication with a practiced and critical eye.  Facts had to be checked. If possible, the item had to be balanced, with both sides of the story told (at times this was not possible as there were times when one of the parties refused comment. This was noted in the item so readers would know attempts were made to convey a fair and balanced piece.)The item, of, course, had to be truefiction had no place in a newspaper (unless it was labeled as such). Editorializing (the writer inserting his own opinion) was not allowed in a news story (although opinion pieces could be submitted for the Editorial Page.) And there was no such thing as an ‘Unnamed Source’. If there was a citation, there was a source. Period. All of these criteria fell under the rubric of responsible journalism.
It’s not like that anymore.
Somewhere along the line “fair and balanced’’ was tossed aside and replaced with the swill currently being presented as “news.”
Where does it say it’s okay to call the President of the United States a liar – not just once but routinely? Most of the nation’s major newspapers and news agencies have made a habit of besmirching the name and character of the rightly and unanimously elected leader of our country. The New York Times and the Washington Post are leading the way. Neither of these organs ever called Barack Obama a liar, despite such obvious opportunities as “you can keep your doctor” and “the Bengazi attack was caused by an internet video.”  Indeed, the Times and the Post, along with the White House press corps, spent eight years cheerleading the BO administration, never seeing even an iota of corruption or dishonesty. They have been tough on Hillary Clinton at times, but they never called her a liar, despite such lulus as “I set up my own computer server so I would only need one device,” “I turned over all the government emails,” and “I never sent or received classified emails.” Apparently only Donald Trump is fair game to be called a liar, although there has been no reason to do so. But then the Donald has an R after his name.
The New York Times at one time had a reputation for the highest standards of journalism. The standards stated above were reinforced over decades to force reporters and editors to be fair and to gain the public trust. Many times during my college years I referenced the Times to research an article or for a paper I was writing. I also used the Times as a journalist to verify certain information to use in a piece for the paper. The Times was, after all, the newspaper of record. You could count on everything in it being true and factual. Not anymore.
Years ago, the editorial staff of the paper was run by managing editor Abe Rosenthal. Reportedly, Rosenthal was a tough but fair taskmaster when handling the reporters in his charge. He set the rules and they were followedor else.  Rosenthal was an adherent of responsible journalism, as were Luvison and Coombs. Abe Rosenthal is no longer with us and with him went the high standards of the Times. Its true that the journalistic standards of many of the country’s major newspapers took a licking as the leanings of editors and reporters went Left and there were no Rosenthals to put a stop to it.
The current editor of the Times, a guy named Dean Baquet, sees no harm in allowing his writers to trample the standards the paper was noted for for decades. He relishes the practice of calling the president a liar and freely prints that whatever the president says is false. Under his dominion the age-old standards of determining who, what, where, how, and why has been added the reporters’ opinion. Baquet has decided that the standards of fairness and nonpartisanship can be abandoned in favor of Liberalism, apparently without consequence.
I don’t believe that is possible. I think that not only the public trust shared by the Times but many of the other major newspapers that have deemed to abandon sound journalistic standards has been lost, not to be recovered. The internet will provide truth seekers with their news

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