This is an important step in the right direction–and it is frightening that it has to happen. The next item on the agenda of U.S. journalists should be an all-out media campaign with a simple slogan to rebuke the “fake news” moniker that is becoming much too prevalent in the minds of some Americans.
A PARADIGM HAS SHIFTED and the traditional news media will never return to the good old days of civil discourse in the marketplace of ideas. Professional and honest news people, regardless of their political inclinations, must now contend with a growing number of crazed or crooked posers and provocateurs. The marketplace has become so confused that many people, even those trying to, cannot discern the difference between real and fake news.
And while this is not be the first time news media have faced criticism from politicians, the current assault by the Trump administration and others exhibit overtones similar to those found as part of or prelude to repressive governments in less democratic countries.
Some news organizations (CNN, New York Times, MSNBC) are beginning to run ads promoting their vital Fourth Estate role in America. HOWEVER, THERE IS AN URGENT NEED FOR A UNITED FRONT BY ALL TRADITIONAL, LEGITIMATE NEWS OUTLETS.
News industry companies and associations need to act now to reach every level of society and regain the respect and attention the Fourth Estate requires to remain viable in our democracy. All the changes the news media has experienced in the past decade in terms of delivery platforms, eyes-on-the-page and credibility are small compared to the catastrophic hammering it is taking now. Although readers and viewers are growing in some areas, there is a real danger of losing credibility with vast swaths of demographics for years, possibly generations, to come.
A MASS MEDIA CAMPAIGN WITH A SET OF UNIFIED MESSAGES AND APPEARANCE IS NEEDED TO BREAK THROUGH THE NOISE FOUND ON-AIR, ONLINE, IN PRINT, AT THE WATER COOLER AND ACROSS THE DINNER TABLE.