Observations of life by author and poet Charles L. Chatmon
Maybe I'm too 'old school' but I can't help but notice a trend in journalism that is far removed from the word itself. For example if I were to ask what is a journalist, there would be several different answers to my question. The dictionary describes a journalist as:
JOURNALIST (Merriam-Webster): a person engaged in journalism especially : a writer or editor for a news medium. 2) : a writer who aims at a mass audience. 3) a person who keeps a journal.
So what? You may ask. I propose that a journalist fits the description above for the sake of Journalism which by definition: (American Heritage Dictionary)
The collecting, writing, editing, and presentation of news in print or electronic media.
I can infer that a journalist's job is to collect information, write about it, have an editor verify or refute same info and then present it for public consumption. Yet, I've written half a page to nearly remind everyone the role of a journalist (root word journal) in order to set up this argument against the trend I'm about to reveal.
"News and opinion"
Funny, in the examples I shared, there was no hint of the word opinion at all. What troubles me is that in today's new news landscape, there are media outlets designed to tilt towards a social or political ideology which benefits individuals who adhere to same ideology. We see a flood of so-called journalistic media full of examples on the internet or on television. We no longer need to think for ourselves when a media outlet can do it for us. There is no need to have a rebuttal if today's journalism reflects the will of a certain audience, not all of the people.
Yet here we are in 2018, a far cry from when you could pick up a newspaper or watch cable news with hours and hours of stories from national to domestic detailing all that goes on in our world. Somewhere along the line, someone decided that opinions mattered more than facts, imaginings weighed heavier than reality, personalities better than ordinary human beings doing good work in their community. We are filled to the brim with opinion pieces everywhere which says a lot about us in the twenty-first century. There are science-fiction tales that describe an out of control, dystopian society which here in America, we're accelerating the pace of establishing one. It becomes that way when we fail to think for ourselves, letting social media do that for us. Old fashioned journalism which focuses on informing the masses rather than share one out of a billion opinions helps us to formulate our own opinions, make up our own minds, things like that.
The spam crowd might be clever and say, "but aren't you doing the same thing you're against? Isn't it hypocritical to assume all modern journalism is terrible when you're doing the same thing? Let me say this is my blog which I can express my opinions on whatever subject I choose to write about. When I'm assigned a story by my employer,(#calcrusnews) I leave my personal opinions 'at the door'. I do my research on my subject, ask objective questions, write my article and press 'send'. This is my personal approach as a journalist and quite honestly, the only approach as far as I'm concerned.
The only way I can express my displeasure with today's media is to not be attracted to 'clickbait' stories online, stay out of websites that lean towards an ideology and continue to practice what I preach, write objective stories for the media I work for. We all have that choice not to participate in the madness. All that is required is to simply not support those outlets by not mentioning them at all. Good luck with that.