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Have we ever trusted journalist?

Posted by: | November 18, 2010 | No Comment |

Watchdogs. Honest. Gatekeepers. Objective. We have a lot of different words to describe journalist, but some how “trustworthy” never seems to be one of them.

It seems the integrity of journalist has been questioned by the public for longer then many of us might realize — since 1648 (at least).

In twenty first century journalism classes (at George Mason at least) student are taught that the public does not trust journalist because so-called-journalist like Janet Cook and Steven Glass ruined it for us. How truthful is that statement?

Search “1st time journalist was called a liar” in Google and enjoy filtering through about 750,000 search results. Wow, we really think that journalist lie that much?

Rupert Murdoch claimed in Journalism and Freedom that “From the beginning, newspapers have prospered for one reason: the trust that comes from representing their readers’ interest and giving them the news that’s important to them.”

While that may be true, Murdoch fails to address the fact that since as far back as 1648 journalist have been called liars and their trust has been questioned.

The differences in integrity and technologies leave use here today in a very different world from the first printers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Today our fact checking abilities are greater, we can collaborate concrete evidence to back up our claims and reporting him a mere few minutes. But with the speed of access to the truth comes the speed in spreading lies.

Can you find the lies?

Today, the line between journalist and average Joe is blurred, the line between news and opinions has been abolished. We have such niche selections of news and media that we do not ever have to hear another opinion. We can select the news we want to hear and hear it.

Today are journalist just liars or simply unethical? What did ever happen to that idea of objectivity?

I was at work the other day and two older gentleman walked in. CNN is always playing on one of the TV’s and the two commented on it stating something along the lines of, “Oh I don’t know if we can stay in here…  they have CNN on.” They then looked at me and informed me that they were conservative and prefer conservative news… like Fox.

Maybe we are all to blame…

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