Just the Facts, Ma’am

Across the board, recent polls about public confidence in news broadcasts has fallen in every poll. Why?

Mariner suspects it may be the ‘social media’ style of content. A hint may be that Huntley, Brinkley, Kuralt, etc., put out headlines about good and bad behavior that focused on institutional behavior without excessive interviews and human opinion because (a) they had at best two half-hour broadcasts and (b) news back then was not sponsored but a public service – time was preserved for sponsored ($) airtime.

Disasters were reported as a singular event rather than the excessively drawn out, days long coverage and socialized (AKA gossip) detailed coverage that fills news channels today. Today, the fact that Mike Pence withdrew from the election has been running like a soap opera for days; Cronkite and Rather would use two sentences and move on.

The premise for special reports was always focused on institutions, government actions and environmental events. What a movie star or an anonymous citizen thought about the news was not included.

As a counterpoint to the style of today’s streaming news style, mariner recommends checking out Propublica.com. Propublica is donor sponsored and is not part of any news organization. Propublica exposes failings in government or corporate management where the citizen is injured or grossly abused. The focus is on the behavior of institutions and their victimization of citizens.

Propublica has a no-nonsense reporting style. It was Propublica that uncovered the behavior of a judge who routinely sentenced school children to prison.

Like so many social patterns today, the public plays a role in the news with abuses on social media; the public has the role of nosy and judgmental neighbor on web sites like Facebook and ‘X’. Where is the truth – news broadcasts or nosy neighbors? Neither?

Where are the actual facts sans commentary?

Ancient Mariner

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