Many people use their social media platforms to decry the Main Stream Media (MSM) in general, as if there is a unified and monolithic institution actively engaged in pushing an agenda of liberal mind control. It isn’t true!
The “Media” has historically had its problems, but never has it been an evil presence, annoying, yes, but not evil.
In the early 1900’s the worst of journalistic sensationalism reigned in the age of Yellow Journalism. The driving force behind that drought in journalistic ethics and professionalism was the people, like you and me, who bought the papers. Sensationalism sold papers. Consequently, journalism, at the time, descended into a swamp of Tabloid one-up-manship. Unfortunately, we are seeing a slightly more refined and bifurcated version of Yellow Journalism emerging today.
The age of Yellow Journalism was followed by a brief period of reform as journalistic institutes began to trumpet their “undying” commitment to Objectivity in reporting.
In 1949, the United States Federal Communication Commission (FCC) instituted the Fairness Doctrine. It was a policy that required the holders of broadcast licenses both to present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that fairly reflected differing viewpoints.
That push for objectivity in journalism caused political wrangling and litigation and abuses and in 1987, the FCC abolished the fairness doctrine, prompting many idealists to urge its reintroduction.
Who doesn’t want objective and unbiased journalism? Everyone will say they do, but do they really? I’ve heard people complain about the lack of it, though I suspect Code Language. What those people really mean is “Why can’t all the media outlets tailor their coverage to match my biases and feed my prejudices?”
Completely objective and bias free reporting of the facts and only the facts is probably possible, but it would be so bland and boring that nobody would support it by reading it.
What’s the answer?
The answer, dear readers, is two-fold. One prong of the attack is for us to seek the middle ground. There are media rating services that rate different outlets on their levels of Left or Right bias. Some outlets, being less politically biased, receive a more favorable rating of Center. Go with them! The other prong of the attack is somewhat controversial as it involves restrictions on Free Speech. We must support sanctions against the most egregious forms of sensationalist tabloid journalism, like Qanon. The words Qanon and journalism should not even be found in the same sentence, but social media must be policed to weed out the kind of mind rot that has been appearing lately on the internet.
Lacking a Fairness Doctrine, we are left with an Unfairness Doctrine. Be ever more vigilant to avoid the swampiness of social media and the internet!