[Some News Shows are] much like the story of the vendor outside the bullfight selling Hot Meat Pies. A customer bought one and bit into it and found nothing but cold dough.There must be some mistake, the customer complained, pointing to the sign. No, senor, the vendor smiled. Hot Meat Pie that's the name of the pie. News is the name of the show, in many markets.If what I have come to learn as a student of journalism is any indicator, the life of a career journalist is not one of smooth sailing and guaranteed gratitude. This truth is to be found time and time again in the recounting of weathered news watchers and members of the media. Most, if not all, can ramble on with a list of problems that would make the impressionable newcomer flinch, whether it is the sometimes cutthroat competition for stories and jobs, the latest libel and censorship case or even just the mantra like chant of What happened to [journalists]?
[...] In his description of the 1930's, one journalist said that newspaper industry was a business like any other, wherein reigned the twin gods of Profit and Stability' And that's not all that retains an eerie similarity to our current views on journalism, if this excerpt from the 1937 study Newspapers and the News is to be believed: collector's of filth from the divorce courts, as exhibitors of sex in crime[ ] the newspapers act as channels of suggestion[ ] So long as the present condition continues the newspapers will find that their actual and undeniable merits are obscured, in the public view, by their prurience.” This sort of invective has remained a constant monkey on journalists back to this day, but if anything has changed, it is that now there are thousands of those monkeys, virtually harassing the media through the countless outlets that have been provided to them. [...]
[...] For example, if a Canadian case were to have a gag order put in place in order to protect certain information, there is nothing stopping Canadians from simply reading what the American press has to report on their websites, where the ban cannot be enforced. Finally, no paper on the problems facing the media can get away with not mentioning bias. The problem of bias facing the news media is not a new one, but some of the tools it employs are definitely hot off the presses, so to speak. [...]
[...] everyday vocabulary, not to mention the covert (and not so covert) manipulation of the media by outside and inside forces, to the point where it can feel like you're experiencing some first rate propaganda machine at work or being fed partisan talking points. The first problem to be addressed is the umbrella term journalism'. It is a simple term that is often bandied about by a wounded party or a public figure, and one that cannot be easily compressed into succinctness. [...]
[...] Roger Ailes, its chairman and CEO, was once told by friends they worried he'd be accused of pushing a right-wing agenda, to which he replied That'll drive my ratings Now, to any sane person, this comment should be all the proof they would need to see that the tagline of “fair and balanced” that fox news parades, is perhaps less than truthful.Of course, there are many more examples of partisanship, bias and outright propaganda in the industry, but to list them all would be an exercise in futility, as these examples are readily apparent to any person willing to take the time to look. In conclusion, I'd like to say that, personally, it is difficult to go over these problems and not lose some of the enthusiasm that has been snowballing within me since the beginning of my studies in journalism. I wonder why such a shaky, corrupt and uncertain career would appeal to anyone. Perhaps it's not too late to switch to creative writing? I think to myself. [...]
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