By André Faust
News reporting is not like what it used to be back in the 40’s and 50’s. Those were the days when it was common to see a journalist with a press card in the hat and a foot in the door getting the, who, what, when, where and why of a story without any worries about offending the advertiser or producing a contradictory story to the spin given by corporate and government communication departments.
Today’s journalists when reporting on the salient news have to rely on the information that is provided to them by communications officers who are all well trained in the science of public conscious and the art of persuasion in influencing public thinking. Modern communications officers will not directly answer any questions that are outside the prepared script. Unfortunately, this places the journalist at a disadvantage to get to the actual facts over the spin version of the facts, and as a result, regardless of the integrity of the journalist, it is impossible to get the “True News”.
Since the 50’s we have seen a proliferation of corporate advertisement permeating every aspect of the entertainment and news media. Unlike the Mom and Pops shop advertisement of the fifties and earlier, corporate advertisement makes up such a large part of the advertisement revenue. Just withdrawing one ad can significantly affect total revenues by millions of dollars that otherwise would be earned.
What choice does the editor or program director have? Run the news story and lose future revenue, or alter and/or suppress the story that will retain the advertisement revenue.
Knowing that Mainstream news media is filtered. One can ask, is there a solution to get unadulterated news? The answer is yes, and that solution is non-profit independent media supported by public contribution. Independent media would be free from corporate, and government influence and could be free to report the news as it is, and not the vision of some communications department.
The success of these independents would depend on how well they follow accepted journalism practices, those who follow these practices will receive a greater share contributions, verse Harry-Jane’s Blog, while content may be entertaining, lack the depth to make the blog news worthy therefore not get much in terms of public contribution. In essence, public contribution is a vote to who has best news coverage and it is through their success by producing factual stories that they sustain themselves and expand their news coverage.
Credit must be given to mainstream news media. Mainstream is accurate when it comes to whose cat was saved from what tree, who has gone to jail or what pot holes have been fixed or has not been fixed.