- Posted September 25, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Election 2012: Your stories
Loss of Credibility Mirrors American Perception of Wrong Track
Over the last couple of weeks a national poll revealed around 60% of Americans have lost their faith in our journalistic organizations.
What the Founding Fathers believed to be so important to our republic, our representative democracy, has fallen from the perch it once set to the level usually reserved only for politicians. The free press, journalists, the 4th Estate, was believed by the Founding Fathers to be so vital to our national foundation it was included in the 1st Amendment along with freedom of religion and freedom of speech.
How far has the profession fallen?
I once loved being counted among the ranks of reporters going out and honestly, completely covering events of all natures. I held firm to the creed that no matter our personal views a news report must above all else remain objective. Sadly journalism has eroded to a point where pundits, entertainers, comedians have usurped and corrupted what once was a profession one longed to aspire.
Ratings and personality are now the norm. Objectivity and letting the chips fall where they may is considered bad form by many of the corporations who now control what is no longer a free press. Campaigns, both Democratic and Republican, demand editorial license over journalistic content in direct opposition of the code, we as journalists once cherished and held sacred.
Is it any wonder then that while 60% of people have lost faith in the press that almost the same number of Americans believe the nation is on the wrong track?
That percentage has come down some, but the most recent polls still have well over half of all Americans believing the nation is headed the wrong direction.
The media by-and-large keep telling us that the economy is improving ever so slightly. The media keeps saying there is light at the end of the tunnel. Yet Americans are not buying it any more. Americans are searching for the facts and truth for themselves. Americans have turned off the television "news", unsubscribed from "news"papers and went searching the internet to base their thoughts and opinions. Americans are looking at their own circumstances, what is the state of their own financial affairs, to determine the direction, the track of the nation and whether it is right or wrong.
Then there is the paradox.
While Americans are tuning out the press, journalists, talking heads, anchors dressed up to look like actual news people, Americans are torn between giving President Barack Obama a 2nd chance or hiring a new manager of the economy. A small sliver nationwide divides the two presidential candidates, Obama and Republican Mitt Romney. Polls show anywhere from 1% to 5% difference across the country.
The paradox is, with well over half the nation thinking that we are on the wrong track, the race is so close. With well over half the nation thinking we need to go a different path, many are thinking that they would rather stay with the "devil we know" than the "devil we don't know".
Are journalists to blame?
Are the news networks, the national news bureaus, part of the problem?
If we as a people have lost our faith in a free press as envisioned and elevated by the Founding Fathers, is this a sign of a nation nearing its demise?
From the Cornfield, on this Tuesday night in the last week of September with only a week before the 1st presidential debate, just thoughts to ponder and discuss.