The decline of American journalism has been realized by reporters and editors acting as partisan foot soldiers instead of watchdogs. This is not the free press envisioned by the Founding Fathers or taught by my journalism mentor.
by Matthew M. Hausman, J.D.
Media collusion has always been essential for enabling authoritarian government and dictatorial rule. Historically, state-run media systems have been used to disseminate propaganda as news, control the flow of information, and quash dissent, whether in Nazi Germany, the former Soviet Union, communist China, or the Islamic Republic of Iran. Though the US Constitution contemplates a free press to safeguard against governmental excess and tyranny, journalists abdicate this role when they engage in political activism through lobbying and selective reporting.
It is common today for reporters to manipulate news to fit their politics, disparage opponents, and belittle those who dare to expose their biases. Partisanship can influence reporting to such a degree that news frequently resembles state media – or public relations copy. And for all their handwringing about how conservatives and Republicans supposedly threaten democracy, it is US mainstream journalists who censor speech they find disagreeable, undercut the Constitution by misrepresenting its contents, and discourage voter choice by suppressing news that is unflattering to liberal Democrat candidates, e.g., stories of Biden family corruption that were downplayed or ignored during and after the 2020 election.
This was not how I learned when I started in the business more than thirty years ago...
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The reality is that the newspapers now have virtually no income. The income that paid for the overhead "the classifieds" (remember how there were pages and pages of them at $75 a pop) has evaporated and circulation figures have collapsed. Who sees the kid with a newspaper round these day? They are now at the mercy of the gigantic media corporations for their budgets and you ain't gonna get any money from them if your politics don't align. Most journalists of today's stripe wouldn't have lasted a day at a community newspaper's office in the past. I would hazard a guess to say that most of the current ones are on gig tenures, afraid to say one word out of place for fear that they don't get used again. There's never been such a thing as journalistic integrity, it's always been a mantra of "whatever sells the paper" It's a chimera. Now, anyone with a harebrained thought in their mind can post blogs and become a pseudo-journalist and become famous for absolutely nothing but their vacuous opinions. Before you know it they're writing for trash like the Huffington Post or Politico or appearing on CNN and MSNBC where the only editorial control seems to be "is it good for the party we support or bad for the party we don't?" Name one media outlet that you can trust for an unbiased report. The world's thinnest book.