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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Journalism...if you can call it that...

Have you seen the little segment with MSNBC correspondent Ron Allen interviewing Newt Gingrich at the RNC? That in and of itself spurred this post. If you didn’t see it, it was a little segment where Ron Allen does a quick impromptu spot with Newt. He asks the former speaker something to the effect “…isn’t it odd that Governor Palin’s resume isn’t one we’d normally see of a VP candidate?” He must have hit Gingrich at just the wrong moment because he tells Allen exactly what he thinks about the question.

Saying that Palin has run a town and a state and Obama hasn’t really run anything. When Gingrich is asked later on a network show why he was so upset he says something like he’s tired of the news media running their smear campaign against the Governor and he wanted to set the record straight. That running a town and a state is a pretty big deal. She ran a state with an 11 billion dollar budget and 15,000 employees. While her opponents’ work with a 4.6 billion dollar budget and employ about 60 employees.

This isn’t a post about Palin, though one will be forthcoming. Just a warning. :) This is a post about journalism or rather the decline of journalism as we’ve known it.

Remember when you could listen to correspondents or even read their piece and not be swayed by their personal viewpoint? Remember when you’d watch a news presentation and wonder to yourself what political affiliation the correspondent had. For instance, I used to love Tom Brokaw. Always have. Probably always will. There was a time I couldn’t really figure out his political affiliation. When he’d present a segment, I couldn’t discern where he stood on the topic. I’ve noticed that even my Tom has wandered into a more liberal journalistic voice. For sure, he’s more open to giving an opinion than he used to be. (btw this isn’t a post about Tom, he’s just a case of for instance)

What happened to those days when journalist presented the facts and allowed the American public to determine for themselves what they believe? When did “they” decide we Americans were so brainless or ill suited to make up our own mind, that they needed to spoon feed us only nuggets of information to bring us around to their way of thinking?

I’m tired of it. Mostly because that’s not what journalism is. At least not what it was conceived to be. I watch a lot of cable news. Though I confess I really only watch one network faithfully. Mainly because the other networks make it painfully clear on where they stand politically. They also make you feel stupid for believing differently. I don’t always agree with everything on the channel I watch, but at least I’m able to come away feeling like I made up my own mind. :0/

As far as newspaper correspondents go, I’m small potatoes. When it comes to covering politics, the biggest news I get to cover tend to be current events announced at the local council meetings. Local government isn’t very glitzy, but I always try not to show my opinion in my articles. In fact, I’m a conservative living in a far left town. The council is comprised of four democrats and two republicans. Our board of works is made up of all democrats. So here I am, a lonely little conservative covering these meetings. What would happen if every article I wrote showed my distaste for the democrat’s viewpoints? (Not that that would happen anyway, as party lines very seldom show up in local government) I’d lose my job. So, who holds these network characters accountable? We do. The American people. The viewers and readers. It’s our job to convey to the networks and other media outlets that we refuse to be manipulated.

That’s my two cents for the day. Now back to your regularly programmed blogcast. :)

P.S. I will be posting on the VP pick this week. As a warning, I will be playing devils advocate. LOL. I’m sure some of my conservative friends will be shocked along with my few liberal friends.

1 comment:

Jennifer Tiszai said...

Good post, Sabrina. And I agree. As a former newspaperwoman myself, I really dislike the obvious slants I see all over the media. It gives journalism a bad name. Plus, it really makes it painfully obvious that they don't think their audience is smart enough to look at the facts and make up their own minds.

Or maybe that's what they're afraid of. ;)