in today’s News-Sentinel talks about a recent story of a fellow journalist’s arrest. Â He starts things off with the following paragraph:
According to a new Pew Research Center study, 63 percent of Americans don’t trust the news media – an increase of 10 percentage points since 2007 and the highest level of skepticism since polling began in 1985.
He goes on to talk about the recent arrest for alleged drunk driving of INC’s Mary Collins. Â Apparently her on air apology went over and above what Leininger felt was acceptable. Â He talks Â about how journalists should be held to higher standards especially where their own is concerned. Â I’ll admit, I didn’t see the telecast, so I have no idea what she said or did.
With all due respect to Leininger, to equate journalists, in this day and age, with, “… a county councilman, a Chamber of Commerce executive and a judge…” is putting them on a level which they are not. Â True we are disappointed when a reporter’s personal problems are brought to light, but unlike a judge or councilman, it usually doesn’t bring into question their entire career or decisions made – unless those reporters were directly related to their reporting.
The reason Americans don’t trust the news media is simple: too often, the “truth” is skewed, biased and often times, for whatever reasons, mistakes are made in reporting or omitting the facts. Â If you read this blog, you’ll know I’ve pointed out a few of these problems – as a matter of fact, with Leininger’s reporting.
I think most would agree that a reporter’s personal life has minimal bearing on how we view their reporting. Â What does impact our view of their reporting is how accuracy and fairness. Â An example of a real scandal is something like a respected newspaper whose reporter was reporting about stories as if he were there, when in fact he was hundreds or thousands of miles away. Â Or flat out being wrong on the facts. Â Or sensationalizing stories to drum up business or ratings. Â It’s these things that have given Americans reason to distrust the news media. Â It’s also these reasons that have spurred the popularity of blogs and information on the Internet – and also a reason for this blog’s continued existence.