Wouldn’t it be great if that headline were true? And not just because it’s Fox News.
If the FCC punished media outlets that repeatedly relay misinformation like they punish stations that show indecency on television, then we’d probably be a smarter voting base in general.
The Corruption of Trusted News
A good journalist knows you need to get to the source. Dig into some news outlets and you’ll see money is greasing the gears. Fox News striking a deal with Sarah Palin is a perfect example. Despite her repeated inaccuracies and obvious bias, the “fair and balanced” Fox News is showing its true colors – green and more green with a red bow on top.
Is Entertaining News a Good Thing?
An entertainment factor has been slowly changing the way “news” sources deliver information, right down to the accuracy of it. Call me crazy, but I think if it has to be one or the other I’d rather my news be factual and informative and I’ll find entertainment elsewhere.
I guess that’s why I’m such a big fan of NPR.
In a Romanesque culture that gets off on bloodsports, we’re not satisfied with logical, respectful debate and discussion. The political jabs and theatrics of a house divided are much more attention grabbing. It’s hard to clearly determine if the general public or the politicians are more to blame for the state of things.
Regardless of the cause, the cure partly rests in media sources that resist over-dramatize a story by sticking to unbiased facts.
Money Talks in Media
At the end of the day there’s a bottom line. If spicing things up with a little twisting of the truth plays to a sizable market then who’s to say that’s not affecting how news is delivered and received in turn affecting public policy.
We must also remember there are people at the top of news networks with political ties and special interests of their own. They set the tone and direction for their whole operation.
But what if the FCC regulated news stations the way it regulates profanities on t.v. with fines? What if, in order to call yourself a “news source” you were subject to a rule of accuracy? If you break the rules you get fined, if you don’t meet the standards you can’t call yourself a news source.
The stations and shows can still operate independently of these regulations if they choose. They just wouldn’t be able to call themselves a news source. That seems pretty logical and fair, especially to the end consumer.