Politics and journalism have had what appears to be a symbiotic relationship since the inception of both concepts. In America, many potential voters have become more and more disillusioned causing many to not even turn up. I count myself in their numbers.
From my perspective, it’s a lack of trust or faith in the individuals that are running. I can’t allow myself to compromise and vote for an individual who is slightly less of a dirt bag than the alternative. Another heavy factor in this equation is the lack of sincerity or connection to reality that I perceive most candidates to have. They are more brand than real people.
I have a difficult time connecting with cardboard cutouts that are incapable of answering questions straight or actually dealing with issues in a practical manner. This “fakeness” then often tends to be followed by backdoor political dealings and more compromise catering to whichever groups have the most effective lobbyists.
I overheard a man sitting a few seats up from me on a plane trip I recently took darkly saying “We have the best government money can buy.” That rang both frightening and too close to truth for my comfort. This leads many others and me to a point where we don’t participate in the process. I am fully aware that this type of action or inaction cannot lend to any positive change.
José Luis García Dader, a visiting Professor from Complutense University of Madrid has scientifically studied and tried to understand this process of voter disillusionment along with the separation from reality that politics has fallen into over the past few decades. He has identified that the media is a big part of the problem, and more importantly one of our best hopes for a solution.
On a recent discussion with Cronkite Journalism students and practicing journalists from the East Asian Pacific region of the world, Luis challenged journalists to help break the cycle of the existing unhealthy relationship between politics and journalism. Stop focusing on non-sense that isn’t a factor in these matters (canned branding statements, fake “everyman” humanization tactics, soap opera BS, etc.) and instead focus energy on topics that matter.
Dader is an advocate for the use of Precision Journalism to up the journalism game. It’s up to journalists to ask hard questions, and hold politicians accountable, to do comprehensive analysis of policies and practices of politicians and report on the core of what these folks are doing instead of the PR driven soundbite fluff that lacks any substance.
2 Comments on “How to Kill Political Business as Usual”
I believe it’s to our benefit to have citizens like you who take a very logical and analytical approach to these types of issues. I like your commentary on the importance of holding the powerful accountable, as this is such a crucial foundation of solid journalism. The challenge by Jose Luis to get rid of the symbiotic relationship – and focus on the hard hitting facts – is an interesting one, and I’m glad you brought it up. You did a really nice job assessing the information shared by these speakers, and I think anyone who reads your blog post will benefit from a refreshing point of view on all of these politically-charged issues. Great job!
Incredibly well said. I agree that both the lack of faith and trust that voters have in candidates, as well as candidates’ lack of sincerity and ability to connect with their audiences, are huge issues in the dilemma we face with today’s political process. The difficult task of discovering how to fix this issue that Jose Luis mentioned will continue to be analyzed until we find an exact solution, but I’m not entirely sure that there is one. I feel as though creating precision journalism and writing stories about relevant topics that don’t stray away from facts in order to create website traction will definitely bring about a more sincere connection between candidates, voters and the media. That I will not argue. I just don’t think that, so long as we still live in an system that allows money to be influential, we will ever completely rid of the issue. Thanks for your thoughts!
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