The battle between the press and the President has been mind-boggling to those of us who understand journalism and the need for it. Seeing your profession, something you believe in, tarnished by the most high-ranking citizen is gut-wrenching and infuriating.
The lack of trust in modern media is disheartening, but at the same time, I understand it. When so many publications focus on the need to be first and make careless mistakes, I understand why the general public is losing faith in our media. When publications choose to cover flashy celebrity gossip rather than focus on world trade trends or the effect humans have on the environment, I understand why people lost interest in current affairs.
The issues are two-sided. People ask for entertainment with their news, and the publications try to make it happen. People want their news fast, and the publications race to make it happen. People don’t want to read longer stories because they get bored or don’t have time, so publications cut their words short and enlarge their graphics and photos to pull the reader in.
What’s the result?
“The media isn’t what it used to be.” “Journalists only care about entertainment and being first.” “They make so many mistakes and never get it right.” “There is no depth any more. Publications all use the same quotes and just reprint each other.”
Because of what the people asked for, modern media found itself in the worst possible position when the term “Fake News” erupted. Because journalists let the people decide what they wanted to know about rather than what mattered, our society has had to struggle through media distrust and confusion. It’s really frustrating to look at where journalism is right now and how the general population chimes in with criticism when the general population is largely responsible for why media is the way it is.