Narrowly, Well-Informed

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“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” – Thomas Jefferson

Leonard Downie Jr. said that contemporary society has the capacity to be better informed than any previous population. However, more often people are choosing to be well informed with sources confirming their personal beliefs. I find this to be extremely true with today’s society.

When we are approached with a massive set of media, we don’t look for things that will counter our state of mind. We are generally looking for things that confirm our own opinions. Online readership is quick to judge, has a short attention span, reads fast and doesn’t look back. Speed is the name of the game and it is a ruthless animal. We are looking for something to catch our interest, and if it’s not there then good luck at holding our attention.

I believe this is why, as journalists, we have to hold to our values of truth and independence more than ever. We have to write without any slant or spin. We cannot contribute to the problem. Outspoken journalism will get us clicks, but it hurts society as a whole. As the quote above states, an ignorant society cannot be free.

One Comment on “Narrowly, Well-Informed”

  1. There are as many truths as the number of media outlets. The “larger truth” is always captured by professional media outlets that remain committed to the cause of objective and professional journalism.
    Historically, everyone, including corporate CEOs, politicians, religious groups, military veterans, tried to enter the journalistic territory. On the denial of access, they pioneered their own newspapers, magazines, televisions stations etc.
    These media outlets may make an effort to replace originality with falseness, they end up losing audience on the issue of credibility. They only cater to the needs of what you have rightly billed a group of people that would like to listen to a specific kind of ‘truth’.
    I fully endorse your opinion that we must stick to journalistic principles rather than jumping on the bandwagon. That is how we will prevail at the end of the day against non professionals.

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