So tonight, I watched the first few episodes of Newsroom. Besides being a bit too on the ‘who is sleeping with whom’ side for my taste, I like the point it’s making. We are seeing an effort to remind the people of this country the true purpose of journalism. True journalism shines a light into the dark corners, and in doing so, provides a valuable service to society, protecting it from the ills of the powers that be. It informs the masses, but it does so without a political slant, agenda, or overall bias. Newsroom is making the point that we again need true hard news. Not edutainment or news tailored to what we most want to hear. Just the simple, unbiased facts.
The Newsroom also does not shy away from taking on issues from recent years and shining the light of fact upon them. Far too many people in this country hold grand illusions about America, or live in complete ignorance concerning the events that happen around them. They believe their politicians, or mainstream media outlets when they should be paying attention to the hard facts. Even many viewers of this show will agree that journalism should return to the days of Edward R. Murrow and Walter Kronkite, and then continue to accept their news from the very organizations whose political bias is plain to see. Facts do not have a liberal or conservative bias. It is only their interpretation that can be twisted one way or another. People should demand the facts.
One wonders (and can only hope) if Newsroom will include a segment detailing the many reporters who were denied the freedom of the press, even while holding credentials. It strikes me that OWS and related events hold a plethora of items that should interest this show: The aforementioned denial of the freedom of press, denial of 1st Amendment freedoms, including H.R. 347, unnecessary police brutality against it’s citizens, and this isn’t even touching upon the core banking issues, mortgage & housing issues (illegal evictions..), widening income inequality, etc.. But i digress.
Unfortunately, in the real world, the good journalists out there will continue to be lost in a media system that will refuse to stop catering to corporate interests, mostly because they are owned by those aforementioned corporate interests. Or because to be truly honest means to lose their political access. The bad reporters will just take a cynical look at the ideal put forth by this show and scoff, assuming they even care that much, and continue to gleefully abuse the 4th estate at every turn.
I wish I could end this by saying that we will one day be at a tipping point and the tide will shift. I wish I could say that someone watching will be inspired to become the next great American journalist. But sadly, those days are gone. So long as corporate interests rule the day and control our media, nothing will ever truly change. All we can do is strive, on our own, to find the facts, and never believe anything we don’t objectively corroborate ourselves.