What’s the deal with journalism? I don’t get it!
The other day, I woke to a CNN news alert on my phone that the Department of Justice had confiscated materials from the Associated Press. As a journalist, I was fuming. Such action contradicts our very constitution!! So how do these things happen?
As a philosophical matter–what gives the government the right to take into it’s possession the property of individual reporters or news outlets?–the answer has been clear: nothing. But these things happen, more often than we hear about them, everywhere in the world. Here it’s a matter of press and public outcry. We understand the importance of the so called “free press” (never mind how often the media is vilified in political discourse).
Nobody likes the media except when they need it. They lament American news outlets for giving too much favor to one party or candidate (always the one they don’t support), while I lament an almost complete lack of international coverage in traditional news. And they hate when the news exposes anything negative about a party or candidate that they do support; as if facts are biased and politicians are perfect.
So while I appreciate the outrage people claim to feel about the DOJ’s seizure of AP documents, I’d like you all to consider what having a free press means to you, and why don’t we spend more time defending it before it’s seized, and not after. Maybe if we invested in a strong press, the general population would have a little more awareness of what’s really going on. But that’s okay. We’ll just keep asking the 22-year-old interns to manage the news. Since they’ve only recently left school, they may even recall this thing called “ethics.” Maybe they could teach the rest of us. Including politicians.
So next time you’re so ready to blame the media, ask yourself why you’re not as mad that the stupid politicians are doing something wrong as you are at the media for reporting it.
Twitter: @MariamsMusings & @talkrealdebate