“Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.” ~ Thomas Jefferson
The United States is a Constitutional system of checks and balances among three co-equal branches of government. Additionally, our Founding Fathers encouraged those outside of government to be involved and serve as checks against government corruption and abuse.
These additional groups include education, business, news media and “the people.” Perhaps most important, after “the people,” are the news media, or the “fourth estate,” that traditionally played a role as an independent check against government gone astray. The government is supposed to protect our security; the news media is supposed to protect our freedom.
What if the news media went astray at the same time as government? What if the news media became a de facto voice of the government, a corrupt government? What if talking heads on television all started using the same government issued talking points? What if reporters became simply government stenographers?
Welcome to today’s world. We have a presidential administration imprisoned by its anti-American big government progressive ideology, with a government controlled and compliant news media willingly mouthing the government talking points de jour.
Bottom line: we have four branches of government (legislative, executive, judicial and “fourth estate”) with three branches controlled by one political party that is controlled by Alinsky misfits.
Today’s news media does not investigate, does not report; it relays information from the Alinsky dominated Democratic Party. As a result, print journalism has seen a death spiral in subscription readership. The number of legitimate reporting jobs have plummeted along with associated salaries. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has gone so far as to term journalism a public good (it would be but for the politicization of the media by Alinski misfits).
The Pew Center’s, “The State of the News Media 2013,” reported “. . . estimates for newspaper newsrooms cutbacks in 2012 put the industry down 30% since its peak in 2000 and below 40,000 full-time professional employees for the first time since 1978 . . . CNN . . . produced story packages were cut nearly in half from 2007 to 2012.”
The Pew Center polling of Americans showed that 31% of those surveyed willingly abandoned news outlets that no longer serve their needs. Those Americans who walked away are better educated, wealthier and older than those who did not walk away. This means that the less educated (low information voter), less wealthy (Obama drones), and younger viewer is the primary audience for the misinformation of the government news media.
From 1980 through 2010, according to the Pew Center, the three commercial news casts (NBC, CBS, and ABC), have lost almost 30 million viewers or about 56% of their audience. By 2012, the three news outlets lost another 2% of their audience.
There are four essential functions that a free news media serves in protecting America’s freedom: (1) holding government officials accountable; (2) airing issues that need the attention of the people; (3) educating individuals so they can make informed decisions; and (4) socially connecting educated individuals on aired issues for subsequent action.
The government media has failed on all four counts. It appears that some cable news outlets, bloggers and on-line news outlets will have to shoulder the burden that government media willingly abdicated.