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Should the media be held to higher standards?

Thundercrack85

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I thought the media had sunk to a new time low with Newtown, but they've been in rare form with the latest Boston bombings. Specifically, certain cable news networks who will go unnamed.

They are so fixated on breaking the story that they are outright spreading misinformation. Granted, this is nothing new. Remember Richard Jewell? But it seems to be getting worse.

Should this just stand, or should self-proclaimed journalists be held to some higher standard legally?
 
They should be held accountable, but any attempts to make them so are futile.
 
I think I lost all respect for CNN the second it became the non stop OJ, Bobbitt and Kerrigan/Harding channel. That when they lost any respectability for being an actual news channel.

I am guessing the fact they third in the ratings behind FOX and MSNBC they think that if they report something first it will somehow give them credibility but to many times in the past year or so they have misreported stuff
 
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Journalism has largely become a joke now, in my opinion, and sometimes I don't even know what the point of watching the news is. The second the Boston story broke, I thought to myself, "Welp, I might as well just turn the TV off until next month, because that's when I'll actually know what the story is."

It's an epidemic. And it's giving conspiracy theorists waaaay too much fuel. The coverage of Newtown quickly became a Choose Your Own Adventure book, and it became way too easy for tin-foil hat wearers to pick apart every single instance of the shootings.

If for nothing else, if it's not a fact, it should not be reported. I don't know why any college professor or high school teacher would not allow Wikipedia to be used as a legitimate source for research papers if FOX and CNN are just as unreliable - if not more so.
 
The news should should be federally funded. Most of the problems with American broadcast journalism comes form the fact that reporters have to sensationalize the news for the sake of ratings. The news in the UK is government funded and it makes out news media look like the staff of a high school newspaper on an Adderall binge.
 
There really does need to be changes. Headline News used to be, you know, constantly updated headlines. Now, it's the Jodi Arias Channel! They started Friday night by switching into "Verdict Watch" mode. Even though, the jury doesn't even start deliberations until tomorrow!

On top of that, there are too many people doing stupid s*** just to get their 15 minutes and sadly, the news networks are more than happy to give them 30.

I'd be happy if there was a new network out there there that just reported the facts they knew on the story, and I do mean the facts they've verified, and then moved on to another story. Then, when there's a new development, they put that out there. AFTER IT'S BEEN CONFIRMED!
 
The news should should be federally funded. Most of the problems with American broadcast journalism comes form the fact that reporters have to sensationalize the news for the sake of ratings. The news in the UK is government funded and it makes out news media look like the staff of a high school newspaper on an Adderall binge.
I dunno...I think federal funding would cause even more problems than there already are; if corporations that fund the news programs get to dictate what the news says, imagine what the government could do. The News and Government need to be kept as far away from each other as possible. It might work in the UK, but there are plenty more bad examples out there.
 
I dunno...I think federal funding would cause even more problems than there already are; if corporations that fund the news programs get to dictate what the news says, imagine what the government could do. The News and Government need to be kept as far away from each other as possible. It might work in the UK, but there are plenty more bad examples out there.

Well, seeing as how the United States House of Representatives would be the ones allocating funds to broadcasting, and it's basically impossible to get the United States House of Representatives to agree on anything, I really don't see how it would be a problem. Our government has a lot of problems, but it's rarely of one mind about anything.

I don't see how federal funding could do anything but make things better. It would remove the problem of sensationalist news for ratings, it would remove the influence of for-profit special interests groups on journalism, and it would make it a lot less likely for news organizations to be blatantly partisan, as whatever party they're against would pitch a fit when time comes to giving them their operating budget.
 
Yeah I have to say making the media dependent on the people they should be holding accountable sounds like a terrible idea.
 
Yeah I have to say making the media dependent on the people they should be holding accountable sounds like a terrible idea.

It would be if the government acted with a singular agenda. But it doesn't. The government is made up of different factions that can pretty much never agree on anything.

As it stands now, where they're dependent on corporations that have special interests in what the government does, they're doing a completely terrible job of holding the government accountable.

And they're already dependent on people they should be holding accountable, Corporate America. At least if it were the government they'd be out of the sensationalist ratings wars.
 
You'll notice they do come together on things that affect all of them personally. Usually the only thing they do agree on.

True, they are doing a terrible job. But don't give them an incentive to do an even worse job.
 
You'll notice they do come together on things that affect all of them personally. Usually the only thing they do agree on.

They'd never crack down on freedom of the press because each side would want the news to be able to take the other side for a ride. Federal funding of the news wouldn't stifle journalistic integrity. What it would do is keep the news from being partisan. And that actually sounds like an improvement to me.

How exactly would the government come to an agreement about the news? And to what end?

True, they are doing a terrible job. But don't give them an incentive to do an even worse job.

I really don't see how they'd do a worse job is they were federally funded. If we have news outlets that don't rely on ratings, we'll never see crap like the Casey Anthony coverage again. That would be a monumental improvement.
 
Also, NPR news, the one federally funded news source in America, regularly criticizes the actions of all three branches of the federal government. In fact, they do it a lot more, and in a much more insightful, in depth, and factually balanced way than any of the privately owned networks.
 
Yes the media needs to be held accountable for the information they spread.

No our current government is far to childish to "fix" anything. Our leaders should be the best of us but they can't seem work their way out of a wet paper bag. So I could see them just screwing up news like they're screwing up everything else.

I'm of the mind that it should be illegal and punishable to willingly deceive the masses through the media.

Sure they could lie more acting as though it was an honest mistake but if you question a lie enough the truth will come out.
 
I just want them to do their job and vet all candidates to the same degree...
 
In a way, both sides have legitimate concerns. Corporations focus on news that makes money, not one that matters most to public interest. And the media is just too powerful a tool for the government not to abuse and manipulate for its own ends. The ideal (but also admittedly, oversimplified) solution in this case would be to legislatively limit news organizations to non-profit status. No direct government involvement, but no profit-motive either where editorial integrity is often the first casualty of corporate greed.

Theoretically, one could also hypothesize that the presence of some sort of regulatory mechanism in the form of more powerful independent media watchdogs is another way to keep the media in its place, especially when the media is run like a business, though I don't know too much about it whether something like that already exists or doesn't exist due to certain foreseeable negative externalities.
 
We should do more to support independent news media. I've started donating to indie and non-profit news sources, and I've been actively avoiding stuff like HLN, FOX and CNN for the past 5 years.
 
I would say yes, but that might get the DOJ on their ass....lol
 
As it stands now, where they're dependent on corporations that have special interests in what the government does, they're doing a completely terrible job of holding the government accountable.

And they're already dependent on people they should be holding accountable, Corporate America. At least if it were the government they'd be out of the sensationalist ratings wars.

BINGO! Mainstream media is too dependent on corporate sponsors who in turn have a stake in how the government legislates. It's a two-edged sword.

The answer is independent media, not affiliated with either government or corporate sponsorships. It's up to individual donations to keep organizations afloat.

Even though PBS is viewer funded, it also gets a lot of donations from the likes of the Koch brothers. When individuals like them fund media, you know there's not going to be a lot of critical stories about corporate cash and its influence on legislation, nor on anything that can hurt their profits. Stories about climate change, for example, could be critical of how companies dispose of its waste material. So it's either kill the story or go with it and risk backlash and lose funding.
 

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