Sunday, June 21, 2009

It Is Time For Some Media Reform

Posted by Teresa at 1:23 PM
It is time to reform our mainstream media. After seeing the coverage of the
very important story of the massive protests occurring in Iran, major American
news outlets have proven themselves mediocre (to put it kindly). Yes there are
some stand outs in our media but they are few.

First there were the protests on Twitter about the lack of coverage of the
events happening in Iran on CNN. Yesterday MSNBC ran re-runs while Tehran
burned
. I noted on Twitter that Rachel Maddow began her last Monday with a
Gitmo story. ABC News sees nothing wrong with running an hour show about
health care from the White House and not allowing opposition voices. Our
mainstream media is an embarrassment.

I hate to make the issue of media reform political because it affects all
of us but here I go. Both conservatives and liberals are hypocrites when
it comes to reforming the media. A good portion of liberals want some
government intervention in our media but mostly stay silent while liberally
biased institutions like CNN, MSNBC, Time, Newsweek, New York Times (the
list goes on and on) stink up the place. Journalism schools are a bastion
of liberal ideology. Wanting government intervention is admittance that
there is a problem. But when conservatives complain about news organizations
not upholding journalistic standards, most liberals are either silent or even defend
the media. For example, yesterday when I mentioned Rachel Maddow of MSNBC
not leading with the Iran story was a big no-no I immediately got someone on
Twitter defending her
. If one wants to reform the media business it doesn't help
when liberals defend irresponsible journalism. It is defending a very poor quality
of journalistic standards.

Liberals will argue that the mainstream media needs more regulation because
it is a public service. I agree that journalism is a public service but I disagree it needs
more government regulation. So if liberals believe that journalism is a public
service, why don't they get more outraged that nightly news anchors or New York
Times reporters are getting paid a ridiculous amount of money?
Television stations and newspapers are cutting jobs left and right (and mostly
from investigative reporting resources) but Keith Olbermann and Maureen Dowd
still make millions. Where's the class warfare when you need it? Teachers get paid
very little for providing a public service, why not a New York Times' writer?

Now on to conservatives. Conservatives are also hypocrites when it comes to
media reform. We claim the media is biased but then when liberals take about
government regulations we cry foul! I actually agree with conservatives that
heavy government regulation of media is against our First Amendment rights.
However, instead of immediately crying foul when liberals talk about government
oversight perhaps we should call for businesses to take more ownership and
responsibility of the product they produce. We also have to admit the status
quo when it comes to our media is not acceptable.
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