Eugene Talmadge, elected four times as Governor of the state of Georgia in the 30s and 40s , mouthed these words often, usually more specifically, ” them lyin’ ATLANTA newspapers ! “. Nothing much has changed except the easy access with all the instant communication now available. People are still shouting, ” them lyin’ newspapers ” when they read/hear/see something that does not support their opinion. It is, I suppose, the American way.
No doubt editorializing has slipped into news coverage. The competition to be ” the first ” is driving the story, and facts often get skewed, either by design, expediency, or lack of oversight. And this is dictated by the advertisers, who expect their money to go where it profits the most. My advisor and mentor at Clemson University, Dr. Don Fuhr, always said that the Golden Rule was really: WHO HAS THE GOLD RULES. In his case he was referring to the federal government’s role in education. In this case, it’s the corporate advertisers. ” Get ‘er done ” is the mantra, hence ” hurry-up journalism “. First news, more exposure.
However ( don’t you just love ” howevers ” ? ), think about no news, controlled news, suppressed news. Now we have choices : change channels, delete the post, cancel your subscription , turn the page, walk away, write the station, respond to the post, send a letter to the editor, etc. Nobody——–and I mean, nobody—— is forced to see or hear anything.
We are blessed to have had Founding Fathers who truly understood what freedom really means and in this case, both freedom of the press and freedom of speech come into play. We can gripe and complain on end because of perceived ( or real ) bias in the media——but by the same token, the media can do its work with no government control, and we can read or listen to or watch whatever we choose. It’s what freedom is all about.
Did you know :
—–the citizens in Russia are not allowed to see the same news that we see each day ?
—–the New York Times has maintained at least two reporters/analysts in Russia without a break since 1921, but they are now being brought home ?
—–reporters from other countries are being told they cannot report from Russia on threat of imprisonment ?
I was a Junior at UGA in the Grady School of Journalism before I ever heard the term Fourth Estate. But it best describes the role that the media plays in our country. The three official Estates are Executive, Legislative, and Judicial, representing our government————and the Fourth Estate is the press, giving a balance and assuring transparency to the people and for the people.
——————I thank God every day for my freedoms. I hope you do, too——–
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