Tuesday, September 12, 2006

News media and society -- discuss

Sensational. It’s a word often used to describe the current state of news coverage in America. But, it’s no compliment to journalists or the way they report the news. In fact, there is strong evidence to support the disquieting idea that many Americans do not trust the media. In 1985, more than 80 percent of newspaper readers thought their papers did a good job, but by the late 1990s less than half of Americans thought reporters were fair. The buck doesn’t stop with print media either.
Manipulative, even vicious reporting techniques have become commonplace in today’s television news coverage.

Stations compete vehemently with each other to capture ratings and often focus too intently on an issue or story if it’s considered a “hot button” with audiences. Some journalists have even been found to be downright deceptive.

Much of our public discourse is sparked by what the news reports about our lives. If people distrust the media, then it follows that the health of American democracy itself is at stake. While public concerns about journalism ethics date back to the late 1880s, there is currently a period of deep introspection under way about the state of news coverage. That’s why it’s pertinent that American citizens become involved in the dialogue and in the response taken to repair the distrust that currently exists between the public and the press.

Want to learn more about this discussion? Read the "News Media and Society" discussion guide HERE.

What do you think?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you tell me how a local newspaper can legally print their opinion with no author, and the public must identify themselves when submitting editorials?

1:31 PM, September 14, 2006  

Post a Comment

Let us know how you have been helped by this article or what you have learned from this story.

<< Home