The biggest story of the year for me must be that Donald Trump has got it right about the news being fake. What is being referred to as honest, straight forward, unbiased, objective and unaltered news is not true. What the public reads in newspapers, listen to on the radio and watches on television, or interacts with on their computer, for the most part is staged, choreographed, reported out of context, and broken down into minute sound bites, to create the story and the narrative that the news agency, or paper wants you to believe.
News is big business. When you factor in, that on top of all the other costs of getting the news to an audience, some news show anchors are getting multi million dollar salaries, just to read out the news and ask prepared questions to their guest or panels, it is no surprise that news agencies worry more about market share and making money, then about providing the audience with the accurate facts.
It is impossible to be the first out of the box with stories of interest now that information travels in seconds, so news agencies rely on sensationalism to attract audiences, rather than the big scoop.
News papers, television news shows, and radio news refer to themselves, or are being referred to by others, as right-wing, left-wing, or centrist? How is this possible when there is only one set of facts that can be true, and what you believe in does not alter what is truth? News agencies call out Donald Trump and his staff for using alternate facts, but they are guilty of the same thing.
Good news reporting/journalism is supposed to provide viewers, listeners and readers with only the facts of a story which allows their audience to make informed decisions about what is going on in the world and what is important to them.
It is not the job of those reporting the news to:
- promote their opinion on a story to sway the opinion of their audiences;
- advance the agenda of corporations, and political machines that buy ads onto their audience;
- create the news instead of reporting it;
- become the judge jury and executioner of those being accused of something;
- pretend that they are politicians, activists, judges, or members of a jury.
- advance theories on what happened, or what a person was thinking, but to report what they know to be factually true
The job of those in the news business from the top to of the company, to those who work in it is simply to deliver the facts of a story honestly without taking a side, so that the audience can make well-informed decision based on the facts.
Reporting of the news has gotten to a point where news agencies have become political machines and activists, using their ability to reach millions of people to:
- make, or break careers;
- ruin reputations;
- elect politicians and topple governments, by getting personally involved in the news, instead of just reporting it as it happens in its entirety.
News agencies have done, an end run around good journalism by making shows like Power and Politics and Power Play. These shows allow for news agencies to:
- steer the conversation by having hosts pose questions designed to get a certain response from so-called political pendants;
- dodge responsibility for the accuracy of what is being said, by making the disclaimer, that the views being aired are not necessarily theirs;
When those delivering the news alter the facts by omitting, stretching and in some cases intentionally lying to make the story more interesting, or persuasive, they do their audience a great disservice.
Interviews used to be done in an open honest way that allowed for a person to be questioned and the response to the question seen it its entirety. Now we hear the question and only get to hear the part of the answer that supports the agenda of the host, or news agency. Unless it is a special interview, I cannot remember when I have last heard or seen an interview in its entirety. There is a combative approach to interviews these days that should not be there, if delivering the news is supposed to be neutral. Trying to trick the person being interviewed is not good reporting in my book.
I personally do not care what the news show hosts thinks about the stories they are supposed to be covering impersonally and honestly. What I care about are the facts being reliable and credible, so that I can make my own decisions based on reliable facts.
There is no room in the news business for alternative facts, spinning the story, and the taking of sides. When this happens the people of the world like Donald Trump win, because they can truthfully say that most of what comes out of main stream news is fake news.
In Canada job creation is up, the economy is booming, Justin Trudeau has kept his promise to First Nations and apologised not only to them but to the LGBT community for the suffering and mistreatment they have had to endure in the past, and yet every day I turn on the television news anchors and reporters are trying to diminish his record.
The outgoing ethics commissioners calling Justin Trudeau’s visit to the Aga Khan’s private island unethical was important and very telling about how news is covered? The ethics commissioner, based her decision that the trip was unethical solely on her belief, that the Aga Khan was not what she would consider a friend of Justin Trudeau.
The ethics Commissioner made the taking of a vacation to the private island of the Aga Khan by Justin Trudeau a breach of ethics, because she did not think that the Aga Khan was as good enough friend of Justin Trudeau’s, in spite of the fact that the Aga Khan was a close enough friend of the family to be a pall bearer for Justin Trudeau’s father’s funeral. When I heard a host on a news program say that since the Prime Minister was found guilty of unethical behaviour based on the ethics commissioner’s views on what constitutes a friend, that the truth of the matter was just water under the bridge now…I knew that she was trying to spin the story for maximum effect rather than getting at the truth. In my opinion she was guilty of sensationalism and being a participant in promoting a fake narrative, or participating and partaking in the delivery of fake news.
I have only found myself able to agree with Donald Trump on one thing, and that is that most of the news put out for their viewing and listening audiences is indeed fake, incomplete and delivered in a way that is biased, meant to curry favor with one side instead of just a deliverance of all the facts.
With so much going on in the world today everyone in the world relies on news delivers to be honest, open and transparent and stick to the basic rules of good journalism. Unfortunately, this has not been the case for a long time now and fake news has become the normal and is one reason that a mentally deranged person now is in control of the deadliest, most powerful nation in the world.