*** truth in journalism ***

11:24 PM

Our prompt for this week was "How well do you think modern American journalism tells the truth, and what thoughts or suggestions do you have about how that can be improved."

This is a tricky question to answer. Behind every journalist is a person, and behind every person is a belief system. Bias, though discouraged, is always present in one way or another. However, I also believe that most journalists are inherently good and they strive to keep their bias out of the way. People like Stephen Glass of the New Republic scandal are the exception to the rule. Journalists do not strive to deceive the public for their own gain. If they do (as Glass learned), they lose all credibility, they are somewhat ostracized by the public, and their time as a journalist is essentially over. Journalists who want to keep their jobs, if that is their only reason, should search for the truth.

What is the truth, though? Is it the facts? You don't need a journalist to tell you the facts. Journalists are also there to analyze and, well, dumb it down for the average Joe. Journalists may provide their own spin to the straight facts, but that doesn't mean that an educated person can't see through the bias and formulate their own opinion. Though there is a lot of bias in the media, it has never bothered me for two reasons:

1) I am still capable of formulating my own opinion. Journalists may add their bias, but they still leave in the basics. Their commentary does not inhibit my ability to make my own decision.

2) In this age of the internet, there are so many different news outlets available that each different journalist contributes to a mosaic of opinions. Through all of the different voices and biases, the truth is discernible through all of the separate viewpoints combined.

Journalists' goal is the truth. They present both sides of the story, they try and present the facts in the most honest way they know how. However, it will always be the responsibility of the reader to decide what to believe.

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