“All of us who professionally use the mass media are the shapers of society. We can vulgerize that society. We can brutalize it. Or we can help lift it onto a higher level. ” – William Bembech

“The media’s power is frail. Without the people’s support, it can be shut off with the ease of turning a light switch. ” –  Corazon Aquino  

I just finished reading a story about how journalists have been targeted by both police and protesters as they tried to report on the news surrounding the backlash following the murder of George Floyd and so many others. I guess the war on media initiated and pounded home by the so-called “leader of the free world” has come home to roost. The sad thing is, even if the Donald loses the election (and I fervently hope he does), the repercussions will continue for years into the future. The thing is it is this same media that helps protect the freedoms we all enjoy. That is not to say there are no sensationalists in the media – of course there are. And, this is not to say that media is squeaky clean or completely innocent of some of the charges against them. No business or industry is without its shadow side. However, without media how would the public ever know the real story? Unlike social media, credible journalists, for the most part, are held to very strict rules regarding reporting on stories. They have to fact check. They also have to tell both sides of any story, and hopefully without their own biases coloring it.

However, the story I just read reports on injuries suffered by journalists over this past weekend. Stories of journalists being pepper sprayed; of a journalist who is now blind in one eye after being struck by a rubber bullet shot by police; of another being shot in the throat by another officer. As if that is not enough, protestors are also attacking the men and women whose job it is to tell their story.

Most journalists work very hard and long hours for very little pay. Why would they do that, you may ask. Perhaps it is because they believe in democracy, in the right of the public to know what politicians and captains of industry are doing that is helpful, or not, as the case may be.

In recent conversations with family members and friends the point has been made that media is sensationalizing the story. Are they? And why? It’s true that bad news sells. We are all fascinated by the drama that human beings become entangled with. And we want to know what’s happening in our world. And, we want to trust that what we are reading or watching is true, and a lot of that depends upon credible journalists doing their job. Unfortunately, too often, telling the story comes at a great cost, sometimes the very life of the journalist is the price paid.

“Journalism will kill you, but it will keep you alive while you’re at it.” – Horace Greeley

17 thoughts on “A very sad state of affairs: the persecution of the media

      1. Absolutely they are not the same. What I was saying is that media can’t capture everything and people involved that take photos or report what they are seeing in real time is also important.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. For sure, I know when I did write for a daily paper that many times colleagues got ideas for stories from social media. Nothing is black and white, is it? There are so many various hues of gray. I just worry about the number of people who see a Facebook meme or a tweet on Twitter that have no basis in fact but are shared extensively, compounding the problems.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I think the problem has always been there but the pandemic ans shed a very bright light on all the injustices and brought them to the fore. Perhaps that is the silver lining of this horrible virus.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Sounds like being a journalist is a lot like being a police officer. (or being a black person, for that matter.) 99.9% may be very good people, but all it takes is a handful of criminals (or in the case of the news, a handful of liars) and the whole profession gets a bad name. Maybe it’s better where you are, but where we live we have watched a press conference in its entirety and later seen a “news report” with sound bites cherry-picked by the media, giving an entirely different story from what one would get from listening to the whole thing. I have been misrepresented myself in the local paper more than once. I’m at the point where if I can’t hear/read the whole interview or press conference, I don’t want to hear about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally get what you’re saying. I know while I was working on research papers for school I had to read a ton of news stories to get the full picture and personally I don’t like news on television for that reason – you only get small snippets of a story, and often advertisers bring pressure to bear on all forms of media – that’s why it’s so important to read credible sources.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Even more important is reading the Bible in big chunks. It’s so easy for someone to make up a lie and “prove” it with a verse here and a verse there, taken completely out of context.
        “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.” (Acts 16:31)
        “The demons believe…” (James 2:19)
        So… demons are saved?
        Um, no.

        Liked by 1 person

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