By Weston Loving
The Society of Professional Journalism’s Code of Ethics states that, “journalism should be accurate and fair.”
However, throughout the years, nuggets of accurate and fair reporting have seemed to be few and far between. This can be attributed to a growing sense of divisive tendencies in society today, or the shift from mainstream media to alternative sources of information. In reality, journalism has been adversely affected by its subjugation towards the businesses that own and control various media corporations.
When the founding fathers made the freedom of speech the First Amendment, they did so because of the importance of this freedom. Though they had the foresight to stop the government from infringing upon the press, they could not have foreseen that capitalist interests would be the undoing of journalism.
They could have never begun to understand the depths of what would begin to happen almost two hundred years after the conception of this fledgling nation.
Right before Rupert Murdoch began to invest in businesses in the United States, a man by the name of Julian Sinclair Smith was beginning to form his own foray into news broadcasting. The rise of these two men and their respective companies not only coincides with the downfall of journalism, but can be directly attributed towards both of them. Both companies seem to display the same type of fear-mongering with their journalism, though News Corp. focuses on a more national agenda, while Sinclair Media focuses on local news to get the trick done.
Through the influences of News Corp. and the Sinclair Broadcasting Group, journalism in the United States has retreated from its place on the podium as a champion of free speech.
Instead, it has retreated into a place where it is a megaphone for the interests of millionaires, who are controlled by billionaires. Instead of real journalism and truthful reporting, more and more fluff pieces and soft interviews are taking place. While these pieces certainly have their place in journalism, that place is not the front page of newspapers and the leading story at the top of the hour in a news program. The news cycle favors the people who own the broadcasting companies, as well as providing protection from salacious reporting to their friends.
When reporters can no longer report on stories that would actually further the interests of the people, they have to find ways to still get their name out and climb the ladder in their office. An informed member of the public must know that the news they are receiving from their television and their phone, is almost always convoluted and murky at best, with reporters leaving out details that could be detrimental to the company and people that they work for.