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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ethics in News Journalism - Perhaps a Small Step in Maine

I've been suspicious about media manipulation during this past 2012  Presidential election.  Now, two news journalists resigned on the air to protest management interference in their work.

This story from Bangor Maine Channel 7, in my opinion, might just  be a small step to expose a much wider ethical problem in news reporting.

Media manipulation is becoming even more troublesome, as the struggle to maintain market share among media outlets is probably at cut throat status.  News followers switch their media loyalties faster than we sort through our daily junk mail.  Pressure to retain viewers and followers are intense.  Americans are likely drawn to media where the news favors their personal points of view. But, this has proven to be deceptive, as Fox News led their viewers to falsely believe Governor Mitt Romney was a pre-destined winner of the Presidential 2012 campaign.  This was certainly misleading, if not a pack of downright lies. Nonetheless, the myth that Romney would defeat the incumbent President Obama kept faithful conservative viewers bonded to Fox News anchors.

Of course, it's not a journalist's job to provide just the news people want to read. That's called "entertainment news".  Rather, news journalists are supposed to report, objectively, about what they observe, rather than what followers may want to know, especially at the expense of truth.

Perhaps, the story reported by Maine Public Broadcasting News (MPBN) is a harbinger for other ethical journalists who find the troubling trend toward "entertainment news" to  be completely irresponsible!  

As reported at link above:
"Last night, two television anchors at WVII Channel 7 in Bangor stunned audiences by tendering their resignations live on air. News Director Cindy Michaels and Executive Producer Tony Consiglio had co-anchored the evening newscast on ABC 7 for more than six years. Although neither has pointed to any specific incidents, Michaels and Consiglio both say that the station's managers have been exercising undue influence over news content. But the station's manager disagrees. Meanwhile, as Jennifer Mitchell reports, independent observers are watching to see what comes of it all."

Perhaps, this a small step in a trend toward ethics in news journalism?  I wish them all the best! Nevertheless, I suspect the issues that drove this on air resignation are more widespread than media followers realize.  

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