Why no one trusts the mainstream media

Or per­haps, rather, why no one should trust the main­stream media, at least not with­out and until seri­ous fun­da­men­tal changes are put in place and, impor­tant­ly, media out­lets such as CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post and oth­ers earn the public’s trust.  It isn’t going to hap­pen overnight — It is going to take day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year of con­sis­tent­ly and repeat­ed­ly demon­strat­ing metic­u­lous care and atten­tion to the basics:  Unbiased report­ing of the facts, and clear and dis­tinct sep­a­ra­tion between fac­tu­al news and opin­ion or com­men­tary.

The news has become the news, and that is a seri­ous prob­lem for all of us.

Real news report­ing and jour­nal­ism is not glam­orous, nor should it be:  They must be, in effect, about the long, hard, day-in and day-out work grind much like that of the “com­mon” man you are pro­vid­ing a ser­vice (your report­ing the news) to.  Unfortunately, what so-called news and report­ing and jour­nal­ism has become for the indi­vid­ual is more about chas­ing acco­lades and awards, fame and for­tune, and celebri­ty; and for the news cor­po­ra­tions it is more about rat­ings, adver­tis­ing, and rev­enue.

Yes, pri­vate main­stream media (not gov­ern­ment fund­ed or sub­si­dized) has always been a busi­ness and, ulti­mate­ly, busi­ness is about turn­ing a prof­it:  Arguably, then, if the more prof­itable busi­ness mod­el skews toward opin­ion, com­men­tary, talk shows and such, then make a deci­sion to be hon­est about that with your­self and those who are, in effect, your cus­tomers.  Don’t, for exam­ple, con­tin­ue to make grandiose and intel­lec­tu­al­ly dis­hon­est claims such as that you are the Most Trusted Name In News.  Or, at the very least poke fun at your­selves and admit and real­ize that the claim is entire­ly one made up for mar­ket­ing, and isn’t intend­ed to be accu­rate.  The news has become the news, and that is a seri­ous prob­lem for all of us.

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