The Associated Press is reporting about a study asserting that “trust in the news media is being eroded by perceptions of inaccuracy and bias, fueled in part by Americans’ skepticism about what they read on social media.”
The story may have revealed more than it intended when the AP noted, “Democrats were more likely to trust the news media than Republicans or independents.” Maybe it is because the way the news is being reported appeals more to liberal Democrats than Republicans or independents.
According to the Associated Press story, “Just 6 percent of people say they have a lot of confidence in the media, putting the news industry about equal to Congress and well below the public’s view of other institutions.”
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That this story broke on the same day that the Los Angeles Times won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news coverage of the San Bernardino terror attack last December is more than a little ironic. The newspaper did a remarkable job, streaming updates continuously for more than a week, after 14 people were murdered in a case of terrorism that President Barack Obama had a little trouble identifying as such.
The New York Times ran a piece that quoted the co-founder of Politico observing “journalists are killing journalism.” Jim VandeHei told a reporter for the newspaper that journalists are their own worst enemies by “stubbornly clinging to the old ways.” That’s a pretty sad observation about a profession that was once, and should still be, vibrant, curious and willing to challenge the status quo, rather than perpetuate it through political correctness.
The expansion of social media, even with its abundance of conspiracy theorists, tinfoil hatters and click baiters, still provides an alternative to traditional media. Sometimes the mainstream fails to report things, but one can find actual facts on some Internet sites as on-line journalists provide more news than the news media.
It was a couple of on-line journalists – David Codrea and Mike Vanderboegh – who initially broke the Fast and Furious story of gunwalking by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Arizona. There’s a story that many suggested at the time should also have earned a Pulitzer. Codrea was recognized by the Second Amendment Foundation with an award for his coverage of the scandal.