by: Patrick Wilson
The state of Journalism in the United States of America is abysmal. Once upon a time, there were biases, but those were expressed in the form of an editorial. Perhaps this is the product of memory from a generation that witnessed it. To recognize this, one has to also realize that there is a generation that may not have experienced the same.
Media have always had great power in this country, mostly exercised through coverage or lack of coverage. In our history, however, one can find instances of media being used to sway opinion with drastic circumstances. An example of this occurred in 1896 and resulted in the Spanish-American War, fought in Cuba and the Philippines. Publishers Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst used socially irresponsible reporting to push the United States into war with Spain. The term Yellow Journalism was coined during this time.
“You furnish the pictures, I’ll provide the war!” ~ William Randolph Hearst
In past years, reality-tv and its mind riveting drama has permeated most facets of our culture. The News Media have been plagued by this fixation on higher ratings. It is obvious that Foxnews and MSNBC are polarized opposites with political catering as the primary driver of their ratings. CNN however, uses the exploitation of groups/ movements like Occupy and Black Lives Matter and then condemns them.
Don Lemon (CNN Anchor) is utilized often as a black man reporting on issues involving the black community. He is used to portray a ‘sensible’ black voice. As you see in the first example below, Mr. Lemon chastises and marginalizes those speaking on behalf of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.
The clip above shows an interaction between Avery Jackson (#aucshutitdown) and Don Lemon. Mr. Avery was a patient and polite interviewee. It was inferred by Lemon that they (Black Lives Matter) should shut up and sit down, although in a different manner than Chris Christie. Mr. Lemon was also very protective of Democratic Presidential hopeful Hilary Clinton. The admonishment Lemon gave was insulting, showing a distinct generational gap. Compare the scene above to the Principals of Journalism from CNN’s Time Warner Website referenced below. In the clip below, Mr. Lemon argues with a former prosecutor that it could be justifiable force used by the Police Officer against the female student.
By CNN’s own standards, Mr. Lemon is clearly working outside their principles of Journalistic integrity. The intentional exploitation of a youth civil rights movement as a whole in order to impress ones’ own idols, or taking the side of an argument of political candidate against their constituents seem to go against the spirit of the freedoms of press guaranteed by the Constitution.
Justification and tolerance of police brutality against children is unacceptable.
Below are the Principals from CNN’s Time Warner Website, they are linked to the page on Time Warners site.
Our network news brands are leaders in practicing, promoting and defending the highest principles of journalistic integrity.
Much of popular journalism today comes with a political or ideological slant: it aims to win people to a point of view, not necessarily to an understanding of the facts. CNN does not try to appeal to a specific point of view or political constituency. To the contrary, the reporters, producers, editors and writers at CNN aim for comprehensive journalism. In their news coverage, they strive to present the whole story, fairly and completely, so that readers and viewers may come to their own conclusions. And in their presentation of opinion and analysis, they strive to represent a range of viewpoints.
Comprehensive journalism also means that we do not let our financial interests determine the topics we cover. Our reporters, producers, writers and editors cover issues that are newsworthy and of interest to our readers and viewers, not because an issue may be of interest to advertisers.
I do not own the copyright to the video’s or the portion of CNN’s Principles of Journalism. They are used under Fair Use as they are intended to inform and educate. No infraction is intended.
Phto used via cc 2.0 license by The All-Nite Images