Is the public being properly informed of the facts concering news events?
News is a part of our lives every day but the news we get may not necessarily be complete or accurate in addition to being reliable. With the Internet there are an unlimited amount of news sources and this is great as it gives us opportunity to compare the coverage or the lack of it on various issues and events of the day. The key to reporting the news as a journalist is the integrity not only of the journalist or broadcaster but the organizational source presenting it.
There is no doubt that we have our favorite news source (s) for our own reasons but we must ensure that we are getting the facts and the events without the spin of a journalist or news organization. This involves the choice of what events get reported and which ones are left off the table. News organizations have an important responsibility and the freedom of the press is engrained within the 1st amendment to the Constitution but with that freedom comes responsibility to serve the public in an honest and reliable manner. This however does not necessarily mean the news and events being reported are the ones for which the public needs to be informed. Many issues are presented and discussed in the news which has, can or will affect decisions the public will make. In these times as we are approaching another presidential election it is important the public receive information that is not only reliable but accurate and complete.
We are a trusting people overall as a country but when that trust is violated it is difficult if not impossible to earn that trust back. Trusting a news source or sources involves a number of criteria. One is integrity in not only what is reported but how it is covered. Journalist whether professional or not must present the facts related to specific instances or events in a manner that lets the public decide on their opinion not be handed what their opinion should be. In any organization or segment of the economy there are going to be individuals or organizations that do not exhibit integrity principles.
Another aspect is the reliability factor in covering the news. News organizations sometimes have rushed to cover a story through sources which have not been validated to be factual and have had to retract their facts as presented. We have seen examples of such events not only as a media source but the journalist involved in presenting the information.
This article is not meant to be a slam against all media sources providing information to the public or the journalists presenting the facts. The truth is there are good individuals and organizations which honestly present the news in such a manner as to give the facts from more than one perspective. News reporting in this manner has a positive impact on decisions made by the public. It is difficult at best if not impossible to gather information related to events to gain the perspective from multiple sides. Reporting one-sided news does not benefit the public it is a detriment and a disservice to the principles upon which these source purport to represent. It is hoped that organizations and individuals who make an effort to indoctrinate the public who trust them realize they are violating the basic principle of accurately reporting the news.