Media integrity is dead. The desire of the dollar has corrupted it beyond repair. It makes me sad for the people who truly love pure journalism. We live in a world where one cryptically written and misleading headline can bring in money for the everyday writer. We live for the likes. We live for the shares. We live for the clicks and the comments. We live for controversy. Catchy headlines lure the reader into clicking a link because they just “won’t believe that this just happened.” It’s dangerous because a huge chunk of social media readers do not even view the article. They just share the headline. And, that’s where it all falls apart. That’s where the integrity dies.
There was a day where the news was just news. It was just reporting the events of the day. It was telling a story from an impartial view. It has progressed from fact reporting to being riddled with political agenda and personal opinions. In fact, I can barely handle watching the news anymore because it feels like just watching two angry people talk over one another. It has come down to whoever has the last word before commercial break. That’ isn’t news. That’s an argument.
I would love to blame every bit of division on media headlines but, I just can’t. There is a huge chunk of responsibility that falls on the reader. We live in a world where I can write “Man Saves Sharks Life by Donating His Colon” and people would start sharing it. People can share satire articles all over the interwebs before one of their much needed friends points out that it isn’t actual truth. It’s a hoax, an opinion, or a dangerous lie. People refusing to fact check is just as dangerous as those who post something to cause controversy. They are just as much a part of the problem as those who write it.
I’m not a journalist. I’m a writer and a blogger. I’m not writing about what happened in a convenient store on 6th and McPlasterville (That’s not a real street. Don’t look it up.) I’m writing my opinion. I’m writing from my heart. A few days ago, I was listening to a podcast concerning Ferguson, Missouri. This particular journalist was incredibly disappointing. He interviewed two members from the community about racial divide among the African American community and the police force. Both interviewers told a story of discrimination and abuse of power by the police. That’s fine. People have the right to tell their stories but, the journalist did not ask one single question. He didn’t challenge their stories. He didn’t investigate them. He didn’t fact check. He took them as Gospel gold and put in on the air. That’s a huge disservice to truth and justice.
The more time that goes by, the more I realize that my child isn’t going to grow up in a world where facts are told because of integrity. That is going to become increasingly more faint. By the time he is my age, I really can’t fathom the damage that careless and biased news reporting has done to our society. As I always say, it comes down to us. How much longer will we sit quietly by as they increase the targets on our backs because they love to tell a bad story instead of glorify the good?
We have to demand the truth. We can’t just sit behind our computer screens and act out of anger towards those who oppose us. We have to be organized, collected, and professional. We have to move with integrity, compassion, and strength. We have to weed out the bad apples that give ammunition to those who oppose us. We have to be better. As long as people are meeting hatred with more hatred, we are just helping the rapid spread of demise on our society. I, for one, want more than that for my little boy. They deserve better than who we are now. What are you doing to improve the world they are inheriting? If you can’t answer that question, it’s time to start moving.
And, to our family with the LAPD who is figuratively and literally under fire, #WeSeeYou.
– Much Love