Opinions World Issues, Campus Views

News media intrinsically important to democracy, freedom

By Michael Taszarek ’18
THE ROUNDUP

The news media has been under attack from every angle this year, with both parties criticizing media coverage of the election.

“If the disgusting and corrupt media covered me honestly and didn’t put false meaning into the words I say, I would be beating Hillary by 20 percent,” Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for president, said.

Trump made harsh statements throughout his 2016 campaign for president, and the media coverage has been rather critical.

Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee for president, has also been critical of the media, but in a different way from Trump.

Wikileaks, which is an organization that frequently releases sensitive information from many sources, recently released emails tied to the Clinton campaign.

These emails are relatively uncontroversial, as everything discussed in them was widely believed or known before Wikileaks released the “Podesta Emails.”

John Podesta, the Chairman of the Clinton campaign whose email server was attacked, has been critical of Wikileaks and the Russian government, who Podesta accuses of leaking the information to Wikileaks.

Perhaps the most negative thing that has come from the harsh critique of the media is the American public’s rising distrust in it.

Strong opinions of the media can be heard all over Brophy’s campus.

“Don’t take everything at face value,” said Reese Galvin ’18. “There is always going to be bias. If something makes you uncomfortable, chances are it’s worth investigating on your own.”

With all of the criticism, I think that it is important to take a step back and realize how important the media is to our freedom and democracy.

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the press freedom, something that the founding fathers knew was critical to democracy’s success.

Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States and strong believer in the first amendment, once stated, “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.”

Bias does exist in the media; there is no question about that. However, I think that it is important that we avoid generalizing the media as a whole.

Parts of the media are biased conservatively, and many parts are liberally biased. As a result, people look at the sources and label the media one way or the other.

What these people do not do is look at a broad range of sources. I, for example, get my news mainly from two sources, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

It is widely accepted that the Journal has a conservative tilt versus the Times,which is widely regarded to have a liberal tilt.

I open up both of these pages, and attempt to read them side by side. By doing this, I get both the news and differing opinions and coverage of the news.

This way, I can develop my own opinions based after reading both the news from different leaning media outlets.

One might ask why I get my news from newspaper outlets and not the television. I read the papers because of their longstanding reputations of being credible, and they for a large part avoid sensationalizing the news.

If you only watch television news outlets, such as CNN and Fox News, you hear a sensationalized version of a limited amount of news.

This sensationalized news is much more biased than the news of other platforms, and is not a good way of digesting events going on in our country and the world.

There are biased news outlets in this country; no-one is denying it. However, it is extremely important that we recognize how intrinsic the media is to our freedom and democracy in the United States.