To The Editor:
A hearty applause for the recent letter “Trust” to readers of your paper. No one who believes in the America we all embrace would question the validity of the spirit necessary to support our freedom of the press. What becomes highly suspect is when articles are tainted with a slant that displays a one-sided opinion. All news is subject to a reporter’s bird’s-eye view of any event. It should not include an interpretation of any event based on his/her bias.
Our shared belief that our freedoms be celebrated can be easily scrutinized if all articles in any paper champion opinions that, over time, cater to a single agenda. Fair and truthful reporting should provide readers with facts. A well-written story should allow readers to make their own decisions on whether something is in keeping with their own viewpoints. Any and all attempts written in a different way are editorials on versions of the truth that the writer wishes to convey to his/her audience.
The political landscape of which we are all exhausted fluctuates on a daily basis. People are following news channels on television and reading newspapers they feel will inform them best. Sadly, while this provides an outlet for people to see and read what they want to see and read, it clouds the illusion that we have any real freedom at all. Hidden beneath the opinions of newscasters and journalist is a darker reality, which is being dismissed every day.
News should be at the forefront of giving people a concise and reliable picture of people, places and things. It is not a reality show with a pre-scripted or pre-written interpretation. Even the weather is open to scrutiny when channels claim to have the exclusive and best equipment to track any storm. Front pages and exclusive stories rely on sensationalism to sell papers and have people tune in.
Years ago, the only competition for news-gathering was another channel or another paper. Today, the competition is in most people’s hands on their phones with apps promising the same up-to-the-minute information. The news industry—visual (TV), audio, (radio) and newsprint (papers)—is up against a phenomenon of digitally broadcasted data and videos that are most times subscribed to by individuals seeking to have things their way.
“Trust” becomes a very suspect reality when individuals wish to have their own opinions validated and vindicated. This double-edged sword whereby papers and channels have to adjust their versions of the truth based on their audience puts at risk the intended integrity to which all outlets for information wish to adhere.
It is admirable your paper wanted the readers to know that you follow the definitive foundation for what constitutes the freedom of press. However, the foundation is in dire need of repair when choice gives everyone only the truths they want to believe.