For me, the issue of journalism in the age of Donald Trump is a complicated one. Reasons for such complication include: I voted for Donald Trump for President, I am an independent leaning Conservative who’s a lifelong Massachusetts native and I am surrounded by friends and colleagues who think completely differently than I do when it comes to Donald Trump.
These matters have all made it difficult for me to express my feelings on issues because of the constant labeling I get whenever I express any sentiments of conservatism. While I did vote for Trump, not everything he says or does I agree with, which is an important distinction to make especially when I write any pieces for journalism or read about Trump in newspapers and online websites.
For the bulk of my existence, I’ve consumed news media through CNN and Fox News, however with the rise of Social media, that consumption has grown to include multiple media outlets. There is the Huffington Post, Brietbart News, and many other far left or right wing media outlets that skew their viewpoints to their targeted demographics. I think this has become a large problem in the world of journalism because more and more everyday, bias has become prevalent and to the point where it has become insufferable and unavoidable.
You cannot turn on CNN or Fox News without experiencing their bias towards liberal and conservative views. During the Election, CNN only had one Conservative member on their panel, Jeffrey Lord, and Fox News didn’t have any liberal news media members on their panels. For people to further trust news outlets on being neutral and giving a fair view of what’s going on in the world, news organizations must stop this one way road of driving in the realm of journalism. It might be hard for some people to believe that a Conservative is saying this, but I am.
The problem of bias in journalism has not only spread throughout news outlets but also into College campuses as everyday, you see liberal agendas instituted within administrations at colleges like UC Berkeley, Emory University, and even schools around in Massachusetts. Schools consistently promote “safe spaces” and do not allow Conservative speakers to give talks at their schools simply because they do not agree with their rhetoric. Again, this is a violation of free speech and should not be allowed at any institution anywhere, yet it happens more and more.
Take a look at what liberal comedian and talk show host, Bill Maher had to say on the PC culture that’s ruining schools and colleges in America when it comes to their disagreement on politics:
This kind of thinking from the majority of College kids around the country is what’s helping to contribute to the demise of news media outlets as well, because the kids who study journalism right now in school, are the same ones that retain their bias at the news media outlets they will right for in the future. Just because someone doesn’t have the same view as you, doesn’t mean the view doesn’t exist and that there aren’t a large mass of people out there that think differently.
I think most college kids live in a bubble nowadays, especially in Massachusetts, where there is the sentiment of “How can anyone like Donald Trump or agree with anything he says?”. I’m here to say, well, I’m one example of those types of people, and while I may be quieter in the public front about my politics, because of how I was raised to keep it to myself, there are millions and millions of the “silent majority” like myself who are Trump supporters.
However, I believe I have a sense of neutrality that many conservatives and many liberals do not have, especially when it comes to writing a news story. My job is to report the facts, not to lean one side, unless I am a columnist for a specific paper. I feel that in today’s world, the facts are reported but that there is bias in the sense that views are interjected into news stories all over the place. One of the first rules of basic news reporting again is to stick to the facts, and many do not do this anymore. This results in stories being spread all over Facebook and Twitter, retweeted or shared by the same biased people that agree with those sentiments, skewing political views.
As Bill Maher so eloquently put it again, news stories are becoming more clickbait than substance and that is a major problem for liberal news outlets and some conservatives to some extent, because people are fed up with reading about useless information.
Going forward, over the next few years of the Trump administration, it is not known what will happen in the world of journalism as news has been categorized a lot by Trump directly as being “fake news” when it doesn’t agree with him. While I don’t necessarily agree with Trump’s tactics, I do think he has a point, especially with outlets like CNN, the Huffington Post, and Washington Post, because those outlets are left leaning outlets that tend to sensationalize a lot of what Trump has to say. Again, I disagree with the way Trump attacks these organizations but I can see his point, as do many Americans. Hopefully that relationship can be mended and rebuilt as time moves on because a torn relationship between free press and the presidency does not bode well for the Journalism movement going forward in America.