Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Frankly Speaking: Mid-Week Grievance ~ Media's Misinformed Push to Satisfy its Drive for a War Story Reminds me we Need to Return to the Equal Time Rule...

SUMMARY:  Frankly Speaking: Mid-Week Grievance ~ Our media has become so self-serving and so ignorant and so incompetent (by choice!) the only way I can see the electorate standing a chance of getting the truth is to re-establish some semblance of the Equal Time Rule.

“ … Equal Time Rule

U.S. Broadcasting Regulatory Rule

It is the closest thing in broadcast content regulation to the "golden rule." …  

As it stands, it's old school for sure but imagine if, on a main stream media (MSM) segment the talk was about the terrorist attack in Paris and the talking heads were saying this and that and the other thing and they were using qualifying language and we could call for equal time for President Obama's National Security Adviser Susan Rice, for example, to appear on the show and respond to the talking heads Koffee Klatching! We'd be so much more civically astute!

( You can find a very brief introduction to the rule here )
In case you can't tell, #ImSickOfIt

And, actually, that is quite sad to me because I am not anti-journalism. In fact, I am a former journalist who believes an informed electorate is critical to the success of our nation.

 Media is also critical to my work in supporting President Obama and Hillary Clinton and getting out the vote, primarily by prodding them to provide truth to the electorate, i. e. do their job, so the electorate can, in turn, do their job and vote responsibly.

I point out untruths , share truths and ask truths of MSM. Oftentimes, I am annoyingly purist about it because I do hold the messengers to a higher standard and if they don’t meet that standard their work is suspect to me – most notably, standards established by the Society of Professional Journalists ( SPR ). Some of them are:

I expect journalists to believe “public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy.”
(It's a big job.)
I expect journalists to seek the truth and to provide fair, accurate and comprehensible accounts of that truth.
(And, for me, that means if you don’t have the truth don’t report.)

I expect journalists to source their information (and that would be from more than one source, thank you very much).
(I worked in a small community newspaper and our reporters had to have two sources or they had no story.)

I expect journalists to identify sources and to grant anonymity sparingly. (Speaks for itself.)

I expect journalists to give voice to the voiceless – official and unofficial. (At least sometimes!)
I expect journalists to disclose conflicts.
Call me naive but I believe MSM’s primary role is to perform a service that is capable of maintaining and preserving the United States of America.

Following fits and starts the U.S. Government elevated the importance of the press via the 1st Amendment further enhance its status via preferential postal rates to spread of information.

I believe our Founding Fathers were clear on the important role communication played in organizing a revolution and a new form of government even if they may not have been as clear on the boundaries between truth, opinion, campaigning, etc.

But, by the late 19th Century, the NYT’s owner declared news to be impartial; the Progressive Era ushered in watchdog journalism and; the early 20th Century Communications Act set the tone for a MSM that served “the public interest, convenience and necessity.”

Today, when  a journalist (Cal Perry) notes on MSNBC, and I paraphrase here, that ISIL must thrilled with all of the propaganda it's getting, as well as with the idea of interjecting itself into a United States election ~ we've got a real problem.

MSM has lost clarity on the boundaries that separate truth, opinion, campaigning, advertising, entertainment, etc.. As a result, it is more important than it has ever been that we accept responsibility for critical thinking, for separating fact from fiction and for standing up and talking back to them!

G., aka Partisan Democrat

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