In today’s society it seems to be a trend to want to blame somebody when things go wrong. All too often we see the news as the scapegoat but what we don’t realize is that news is a complicated creature, especially in today’s society.
True journalism is a tool in the checks and balances system that operates this country. Though some presidents and public figures find journalists an irritant, the wise leaders understand that without nosy reporters there would be no democracy.
“Where the press is free, and every man able to read, all is safe.”
– Richard Nixon
Even President Jefferson who experienced a rocky relationship with the press understood that it had a roll to play in securing the freedom of this country.
“The only SECURITY of all is in a FREE PRESS.”
– Thomas Jefferson’s
It only makes sense that if one wants to control the people, cause internal division and chaos, the thing to attack is the voice of the people. Fear leads to natural distrust and anxiety and if we are constantly told that we cannot believe the news, that the journalists are the “enemy of the people” it leaves the general public vulnerable and the leaders to be held to no accountability for their actions.
“I think it is invaluable, even though it may cause you—it is never pleasant to be reading things that are not agreeable news, but I would say that it is an invaluable arm of the presidency, as a check really on what is going on in the administration,”
-John F. Kennedy
Journalists work for the people. They reveal the good and the bad and the bad in an unbiased manner. Yes, it is fallible, Hitler proved to the world that publications can be distorted in a way as to create the truth, but free press cannot be bought because they serve the people, not the government.
Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.
– George Orwell
The problem lies not in the reporters, but the audience that refuses to investigate. With so many news outlets there is no reason that a person cannot do their own fact checking in order to form their own opinion on a matter. Instead, we have become lazy, willing to believe whatever comes up on social media as the ultimate truth or lie. This state of mind leaves a weakness exposed, a weakness that Hitler would have seen and taken advantage of.
The first thing a tyrant or a controlling person eliminates is the knowledge of the people through either manipulation or isolation. Hitler had approved Nazi publications, as does China. The book 1984 by George Orwell is based on the manipulation of words and the rewriting of “facts.”
TO BE FREE IS TO QUESTION EVERYTHING
That is precisely what journalists do, for you, for accountability, for change. But you need to do your part too. Instead of judging, read, ask your own questions, perform your own investigations.
There is no enemy in the press, only fear of the truth, an avoidance of the answers. It is easier to have a scapegoat than to accept blame as being part of the problem, to take action in reform.
“There isn’t any doubt that we could not do the job at all in a free society without a very, very active press.”
-John F. Kennedy