College of William and Mary Student Slams American Press
A recent poll reveals that the national press has hit an all-time low for level of public trust.
College of William and Mary student, C. R. Dodson, evaluates reasons behind the decline with examples from the 2012 election season:
It is commonly understood that mass media in the U.S. is awash in bias. Reporters on up through editors and management deliberately skew certain facts, give unequal time to stories that favor their views, and try to trip up candidates for the hell of it. At face value, this is nothing new; political parties used to operate their own newspapers. But in recent years, the media has gotten out of hand.
Call it the . As the internet expands, Americans are becoming increasingly reliant on it to obtain news. After the 2008 election, regular viewers of primetime cable news decreased by more than 1 million viewers, while unique visits to news blogs doubled. The selling points are the speed at which new information can travel, and the vast number of independent sources reporting this information. Because the number of sources is so vast however, the average disinterested citizen can be discouraged from wandering from one or two “trusted” websites. This leads to the centralization of a few select “news” outlets run on a blog mentality. Speed is valued over accuracy, and gaining readers is more important than reporting the news fairly. Again, at face value, this is nothing new; cable news has been turning reporting into a ratings war since the Clinton days. But the nature of the internet, when mixed with this is creating a dangerous atmosphere.
Blogging is inherently anonymous. Sure, bloggers can use their own names as they type, but on the internet no one has to. That, when mixed with the push for expediency, increases the likelihood of reporting rumors or even outright lies. Despite how partisan the mass media has become, libel laws and the need for a trustworthy reputation serve as a check on purposeful misreporting.