Journalists are meant to inform not polarize––a deep social and political divide persists when the truth is shadowed by bias.
By: Quinn White
During a time where factual, unbiased reporting is needed most, there is an extreme polarization plaguing the truth and encouraging bias in the United States. Politics in the U.S. have forced many to feel pressured into choosing the lesser of two evils. The tumultuous social climate–birthed out of unrest between Blacks and police officers– continues to feed hate and anti-police or anti-Black vernacular. The pandemic persists feeding the sorrow that’s consuming the nation.
We are living in a polarized state of chaos where each side screams their opinion demanding that it’s heard while closing their ears to the thoughts of the opposing side. When nobody will listen to each other, who are we supposed to trust? Journalists–or so you would think.
It is the job of journalists to expose the truth and inform the populace of said truth. When there is so much bias and blatant, shameless polarization infecting the minds of so many, it’s more important now more than ever for journalists to keep their opinion out of their reporting and simply seek out the facts. For journalists to coat their reporting in blatant bias is a much more dangerous act than many choose to realize.
It’s important for the truth to persist– it is the only way to halt the growth of the budding unrest that’s deeply dividing the nation. If the reporting at networks like Fox and CNN remain biased, so will the divide. People who are deeply biased and take no time to recognize opposing opinions are going to seek out reporting that only further supports their thoughts– feeding an “I’m right and they’re wrong” mindset.
If you think you’re doing the right thing by reporting with bias weaved in, think again. It’s time to rid reporting of bias altogether and leave those seeking fellow agreeance in their news with no answer other than the truth. If the truth is what dominates our news, then people are left with opinions that are formed based on factual evidence rather than blurring bias.
It’s human to have ethical and moral beliefs that drive your thoughts and actions. However, it is not the job of a journalist to spread their opinion–their duty as the voice of news requires the exact opposite. Bias, opinion, and polarization have no place in the world of journalism–– its time more people speak out on this topic without fearing being cancelled or criticized, journalists will always be criticized regardless.
The social and political unrest has gotten to such a toxic point that if it isn’t thwarted by fact, journalists may forever be labeled as “fake news”–even if their reporting is fact based. This is not to say there aren’t journalists out there reporting on fact–there most certainly are. This is to say that the major news corporations dominating our television and phone screens need to stop feeding their own agendas and start doing the true job of journalists–reporting the truth. A quote by the former co-owner of The Washington Post, Philip L. Graham, comes to mind that states, “journalism is the first rough draft of history.” History is meant to recount facts of our world’s past, not provide a look back through a blurring lens. Journalism is more than just a job, it is an honorable duty to present, future, and even past generations.
Events like 9/11 are remembered because of the honorable work of journalists. Instead of reporting from the safety of news stations, courageous reporters like Carol Marin took to the front lines––wading through noxious clouds of dust and rubble––to ensure that Americans could see with their own eyes what was happening in New York on that soul crushing day. The fact of 9/11 is that many innocent people lost their lives to the blinding hatred of terrorists––nobodies’ death that day was justified.
To be able to report on the truth is a privilege that should never be taken advantage of––we must always keep journalism honest, and in turn, keep our history books honest.