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Journalism’s First Loyalty Is To The Citizens – Journalism and Society – Medium

By Syed Haq

https://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/cnn-mlh-ad/

Today our American journalism has become a war between two political parties, with each trying to demolish the other without taking the fellow citizens who expect quality news from these media organizations into consideration.

Fox News representatives would use their exaggerated facial expressions to make the news about immigrants sound horrifying, meanwhile, CNN is concerned about Donald Trump’s love for fast food.

However, they both are constrained from speaking about certain topics, which leaves many Americans unaware of bigger issues in the world. And those who do, are usually boycotted or fired; just ask Marc Lamont Hill.

“These media outlets should be, as the famous boxing referee Joe Cortez calls himself, fair but firm”

“The value of journalism was predicated on the existence of the public and not the reverse” (Carey, J. A short history of journalism for journalists: A proposal and essay. 12).

This statement indicates that the idea of conveying the news, or keeping the society up to date with what’s happening in the country or around the world, should be based upon what benefits and serves the citizens, and not brainwashing the public in order to aid ones on biased agenda. Journalism is not the same everywhere in the world, but in a democratic nation like the United States, which serves the citizens allowing them to be in power, has been recently following the footsteps of other monarchy nations.

In no way shape or form is this a general statement, rather a blame upon specific so-called ‘international’ news organizations. These media outlets should be, as the famous boxing referee Joe Cortez calls himself, fair but firm. Which means being respectful when needed, while also not shying away from exposing some of the injustice happening around when needed to. Without being in control or fear of the head of the department. Otherwise, this attitude strips away the full benefit of having ‘Freedom of Speech’ as a right in our first amendment and raises the question, does American media really have freedom of speech?”

Frankly speaking there is still some good in Journalism which brings hope in an aspiring journalist like me. Local outlets such as NY1 stays away from conveying news with personal biases and sticks to important events and critical discussions that benefit our local community of NYC. But the bigger news industries aren’t serving their audience as efficiently as it should. Whether its due to being caught up in a political rivalry or receiving an order from their seniors to avoid speaking about the mischief of their allies. In other words, journalism in America is still serving its citizens, but not at its optimum level.

“Journalism should recognize a fine line between hate speech and free speech”

“Journalism is by nature public — publication mean to make public” (Carey, J. A short history of journalism for journalists: A proposal and essay. 4).

This statement of James Carey aligns with my own opinion of journalism’s service to the public. Avoiding any sort of mental gymnastics while conveying the news, nor adding additional salt and pepper to beautify it. Journalism’s first loyalty is to the citizens, and the citizens should never be lied to.

If the citizens are misinformed or uninformed, they will work according to what is provided, thus possibly leading a society filled with delusion and chaos. Journalism should recognize a fine line between hate speech and free speech, and never shy away from having critical discussions about sensitive matters with an open mind; this will be an ideal Journalism Utopia.


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