Disclaimer: I love the news, I even count myself a journalist. I only give this disclaimer, so you know that I’m coming at this from a place of love; which is essential to understand when performing in an intervention. Just like any family member might intervene and tell a son or daughter to get professional help for their addiction; I’m only here to gently encourage my fellow journalists to do the same.
Sadly, the number of journalists working in American newsrooms is at an all-time low. According to Axios, between 2008 and 2017 alone, over 27,000 newsroom jobs were permanently lost. Only 39,000 people in the entire U.S. still work on a newspaper and roughly half of those work as reporters. Don’t even get me started for poor radio broadcast; they only have 3,300 employees left.
On top of that, trust in the media from both sides of the political divide actively distrust the national press. Axios, Gallup, and Pew Research Center all a surveyed this, and all found similar results.
The Axios data showed that while members of the GOP immensely distrust the media (92%), Independents (79%) and Democrats do as well (53). Asked why they feel this way 70% said that the “traditional major news sources report news they know to be fake, false, or purposely misleading.” Moreover, of this group, 65% blamed fake news due to reporters having an agenda.
These reports came out over a month ago and are part of a repeating trend following previous years. So, you might think that members of the national media might try to learn from this information and change their ways.
Which is why I find it both funny and distressing when over 300 newspapers across the country decided to work in tandem and dedicate their editorials against some tweets President Trump tweeted some weeks ago. Tweets in which the President specifically called “Fake News” the enemy of the people. That same reflected viewpoint that most of the American public are blaming for their distrust of American news.
To Newsrooms everywhere:
I may not be an economist, but it is easy to see that doubling down on the reason that people are using not to buy your rag anymore is self-destructive at best, and suicidal at worst.
At this very moment, China is forcing millions of Uighurs, Christians, and anyone else with religious views in China into concentration camps where they will face violence; including sexual violence, murder, forced abortions, organ harvesting; and only some re-education if they are lucky.
In what way is any tweet more important than reporting on this? Why have 300 newsrooms not come out with editorials about the Uighurs plight? Where are the massive articles and endless video tirades about these injustices?
Also, how are we supposed to believe the press is honest and unbiased if they all come out with editorials espousing the same viewpoint. Let alone having your audience take your publication seriously if the editorial is from the perspective of a dog (looking at you Chicago Tribune).
You blame the President for the public hostility of the American people towards the press and share little blame for yourselves. Addicts also blame everyone but themselves for their problems. And addicts often don’t get help until they hit rock bottom.
Well news media, according to the job stats it’s looking like you’re almost there. Perhaps you should do something about it?
Please change your ways. Start trying to be more like the truthtellers you claim to be and less like the old school marm dictating to children on what we should think. Focus more on hard news and facts, and less on the social media penchants of the President.
Because Trump isn’t the reason for your current woes;
Britzky, Haley. “By the Numbers: The Shrinking Media Landscape.” Axios, Axios, 4 Aug. 1970, www.axios.com/newsrooms-are-shrinking-b2d147c3-abdf-4d4c-b2fd-b3dc2675716c.html.
Fischer, Sara. “92% Of Republicans Think Media Intentionally Reports Fake News.” Axios, Axios, 27 June 1970, www.axios.com/trump-effect-92-percent-republicans-media-fake-news-9c1bbf70-0054-41dd-b506-0869bb10f08c.html.
Huppke, Rex. “A Dog’s Letter to President Trump: Stop Calling Humans ‘Dogs’.” Chicagotribune.com, 15 Aug. 2018, www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/huppke/ct-met-trump-omarosa-dog-racist-huppke-20180815-story.html.
Smith, Samuel. “China Detaining Over 1 Million Muslims in Concentration Camps but the World Is Silent, Believer Says.” The Christian Post, Christian Post, 24 July 2018, www.christianpost.com/news/china-detaining-over-million-muslims-concentration-camps-but-world-silent-uighur-state-department-ministerial-226358/.
“UN Says It Has Credible Reports That Chinese Regime Holds Million Uighurs in Secret Camps.” Www.theepochtimes.com, 11 Aug. 2018, www.theepochtimes.com/un-says-it-has-credible-reports-that-chinese-regime-holds-million-uighurs-in-secret-camps_2621085.html.
Yedroudj, Latifa. “Christianity CRACKDOWN: Chinese Officials RIP DOWN Images of Jesus.” Express.co.uk, Express.co.uk, 15 Aug. 2018, www.express.co.uk/news/world/1003873/china-news-christian-persecution-beijing.