What are the pros and cons of freedom of press?
The pros are obvious, to provide a healthy counter balance to the wrath of unchecked power. But those pros assume the press is not in-and-of itself enthralled in the wrath of its own powers. Freedom of any kind cannot exist without its paradox. A paradox too-loosely applied to the press, and in desperate need of readjustment.
To wit, CNN as a leading news-centric channel has literally become smut television, with endless talking-heads without verifiable or meaningful merit endlessly regurgitating their opinions as if it were news. Laced in, supported by, and no doubt ruled by companies promoting endless advertising of toe-nail fungus medicine and the like. Other news channels follow the same revenue optimization techniques to compete, quite different from reporting news as it happens, when it happens, the way Ted Turner initially conceived CNN to change the deplorable news scene at its time. News has turned subprime, like all systems become without the checks and balances of a meritocracy.
Indeed, news production has lost its collective mind and merit as the counter-balance to our law-makers. Not in the least driven by the sensational socialism inherent to social media as now its fastest growing distribution. With reporters deemed to have merit, and put on a pedestal only when their likes or shares on social media reach a certain threshold. A rat-race for populism promulgating an agenda quite different from the integrity of the news that matters.
Last but not least, as I realized in my own interactions with the national (and international) press, with the advent of the internet as its accelerant, the focal point of the press has turned into fast short-form hits, with the shallow description and coverage of consequential events disconnected from a plausible relationship to cause. Not unlike how I once called a national reporter a proverbial weatherman, who related to a subject close to my heart, proclaimed say “climate issues to be irrelevant because it snowed that day”. The press has on the whole become a rebel without a cause, with cheap reporting of a maelstrom of consequential events blissfully detached from a sound perspective of cause.
So yes, I do think the press needs to be held accountable in order to portray, and be deemed suitable to in-turn hold our elected officials to account. And we must ensure the press is not equally flawed as the presidency, from which some 85% of our population has already disenfranchised itself, by virtue of the electoral process.
We have plenty of instruments in our democratic process to hold our President to account. And if not, we better reinvent our constitution which defines and stipulates those controls. The press must be able to speak its mind, like all of us. And let the merit of their wisdom define whether they should be taken serious or not. They have sunken very low, and I am glad they are being challenged. As we all should be.
The press has lost my confidence, and I speak with many leaders in their respective line of work who feel exactly like I do. And I paraphrase former FBI director James Comey; just because you are talking about something (frequently) doesn’t mean you know what you are talking about. Let us not forget how the press turned Michael Jackson into a villain, we now know he clearly was not.
— — The Venture Company | https://www.venturecompany.com/blog/2017/03/what-are-the-pros-and-cons-of-freedom-of-press/