I am a journalist. Not just a student but a journalist with the potential to make an impact and do something meaningful.
That’s the hope, anyway.
A study by the Media Insight Project shows the six percent of people actually trust the media. If the comments on the article published by Breitbart are anything to go by, the rest look at journalists and reporters as puppets for D.C., mouthpieces for politicians, propaganda pushers and all-around liberally biased.
Journalists are taught to tell the story without bias and find the angle or person that will get the most attention. News media is just as cutthroat as the medical or legal fields but now it’s not just coming from competition within. Now it’s outside attacks.
A fake Mike Pence account tweeted Thursday morning that media learned nothing. The tweet implied that coverage would be different if Trump voters were the ones protesting and blocking traffic and burning the world to the ground the way Clinton voters are now.
Honestly, the only difference in media coverage would be the label for the protestors; they’d be labeled “deplorables” instead of “feminist crybabies.”
I’m training to go into the field that gave Donald Trump power. Everyone is up in arms about his election to president, trying to petition to get rid of the electoral college and place Hillary in office. What they don’t realize is he wouldn’t have gotten as much attention if he wasn’t viewed as a sideshow in the first place.
Trump paid virtually nothing in advertising costs. He says there’s bias and maybe right now there is but that bias still played in his favor.
Trump won but all the news outlets projected Clinton would win. That shouldn’t be possible in an unbiased system.
My peers and I are gearing up to graduate and deal with people saying “You’re from the media? I can’t talk to you.” I’ve already heard it from student workers when trying to confirm a possible story before even working on it. I am trusted as a student but when I wear the role of journalist, immediately I face road blocks and walls.
People have a distrust of media but journalists still enjoy the freedom of being separate from government. There are countries where “news” outlets have little to no control over what they are allowed to release to the public.
Our journalists, the ones so reviled by the general masses, put themselves in the middle of dangerous and crazy situations for a good story. How else would National Geographic become what it has without photojournalists willing to be in the thick of it? How else would you have vivid stories about ghettos, drug rings, and domestic abuse?
It’s definitely not by running away with the crowd.
Pointing the finger
Removing bias from news is possible but the problem as I’ve seen it is that few consumers want to think for themselves. Critical, independent thinking is on the decline and people would rather be told what to think because then they have something to hold on to. A prepackaged opinion. So many outlets give just that because knowing the audience is how a business keeps functioning.
This election has already tossed major cities in the nation into immediate turmoil. People aren’t happy and they are voicing their opinions, as they have every right to do. Media shouldn’t be faulted for covering major events. It should be faulted for implying an opinion outside the Opinions section.
Just remember, there are humans on both sides of the story – the one who is written about and the one who does the writing.