What the world needs now in addition to love is wisdom.
Saturday, March 28, 2015
Journalism, Bias, Hypocrisy – Part 3
Are Corporate Mass Media journalist hypocrites, or just groups acting within their own rights of free speech?
In my last post I ended by asking how we can restore the health of journalism. I stated that Corporate Media has a near monopoly of mass media with the ability to control news reporting to meet their agendas. Is this a benefit or detriment to the purpose of journalism which is to provide people with the information they need to be free and self-governing?
Is it wise or foolish for so few to be in control of mass media? Are any corporations being hypocritical by claiming to provide news in a fair and objective manner and in reality, being bias or selective in reporting news? Are mass media corporations being socially responsible to our nation when they select or focus their news sensationalism issues and ignore vital national issues in order to better profit? Will their news reporting inflame a social issue rather than reporting facts in a professional manner so as to aid in resolving social issues?
Mitt Romney said corporations are people. The basis for allowing corporations to assert protection under the US Constitution is that they are organizations of people, and the people should not be deprived of their constitutional rights when they act collectively. What is so wrong about corporations owning the media to express their views or agendas? Heck, if you do not want to hear their opinions, you do not have to listen no one is forcing you to listen, or watch their TV and movies, or buy their publications.
How would you reply to this argument? Many already have been turned off with certain media sources and do not read, see, or listen to their news and entertainment they find objectionable to their political or moral views. Some may even purposely avoid buying any products advertised in the media source. In my opinion, we deserve better customer service treatment from the mass media. We should have an incentive to want to become better informed citizens interested in hearing different viewpoints in order to help us compromise rather than become divisive with each other.
How would I reply to the corporation argument? First I do not believe all mass media source reporters and commentators are hypocrites. However, I have no means to rate them other than my own experiences and opinions. To begin my reply, read this King Solomon Proverb of wisdom in order to help me explain the folly of our nation being controlled by a mass media hypocrite.
By his speech, an impious man destroys his neighbor,
but rescue is effected by the knowledge of a righteous man (Proverb 11:9)
A hypocrite is one whose speech has socially destructive effects: he destroys his neighbor, and so he is opposite of the man whose speech is constructive and benevolent and expressive of his concern for the good of his neighbor. (Proverbs Mc Kane)
How does this proverb relate to the purpose of journalism, to provide people with the information they need to be free and self-governing? Notice the words “socially destructive effects.” Who determines what is being reported is socially destructive? We do. How? By asserting our right of free speech to our representatives and communities. How can we do that if those in control of journalistic mass media do not agree with us and decide not to report our views or concerns, or when they do, report in a bias manner?
What is the answer or solution? Ask yourself this question in regard to King Solomon’s Proverb. How is the knowledge of a righteous man ever going to come to the rescue, if the news he or she is being controlled by a select few who do not want him or her to obtain knowledge contrary to their agenda?
In my opinion, the last thing we need is a government agency deciding what news is either good or bad for the nation. The reality of journalism is as long as it is an entity, be it individuals, groups, or corporations with dollar power, the news will be bias to some degree to suit an agenda.
However, I believe it is possible to begin to revive and improve the health of journalism in our nation by using the same small, but proven method that has already worked to improve the health of millions of Americans in the last fifty years. It may take a long time for journalism health to improve, but it could be a first step.
In my next post I will explain more on how I would respond to the corporate free speech argument mentioned above. We as a nation deserve the best and wisest leadership in our journalism sources in order to obtain the information we need to be free and self-governing.