Holding Media to Higher Standards

Isn’t it time we held American media to higher standards? Some publications are doing it right. Unfortunately, most are ignoring THE TRUTH and MANUFACTURING LIES to keep us distracted from our own experiences.

What Can I Do To Support Truth Tellers?

In truth, there’s a lot you can do to influence the media and how honest or dishonest they choose to be. This is especially true on the small scale. It’s not hard to tell when small media outlets are spinning stories to attack their personal enemies. It’s horrifying to think people who put themselves on the line for our communities wind up being used in this way.

We’ve all seen it – the pettiness that is small town news coverage. You don’t have to look far to see good examples of public officials being skewered without reason. What can you do about that?

Hold your publications responsible for publishing truthful information.

Go ahead and send them an email when they get facts wrong or when you can see they’re pushing opinion around as if it’s set in stone. You might see, “Man investigated for…” or “Man accused of…” when the article doesn’t say either of those things or the source for the information doesn’t belong in the paper. An anonymous rumor? What is this? The 1860s? Have some journalistic integrity.

Point out discrepencies publicly.

If you see these kinds of discrepencies, call them out. Mention it in the online comments (if they’re acting) or on Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets. Just don’t link to the bad articles. You’ll give Google and Bing and the rest the impression that they are legitimate news stories that deserve attention when they are not and do not.

Demand better journalism.

Tell your radio stations, and newspapers, and tv stations when they need to do a better job. Better yet, tell their advertisers. You don’t want your favorite local brands associated with liars.

Challenge other outlets to call bad reporting out.

There are likely several news outlets in your area. If you see someone lying, point it out to a fellow paper. Depending on their relationships, they might not publicly call one another out, but they will be less likely to share information they know their readers don’t agree with even before it hits the press.

Too many news outlets simply regurgitate stories from one to the next. I’m not talking about Associated Press or other syndicated articles, but you can see – especially among local outlets – a newspaper will pick up a story, then the radio station will cover it, then the tv crews show up.

Who is fact checking? In too many situations, nobody.

Support honest news outlets with your money.

In small towns, the local paper might cost $50 or less a year. Every subscription matters to their bottom line. So does advertising.

If you see a local paper doing a stellar job of reporting, reward them with your subscription and tell your friends to get the paper too.

Tell your favorite stores and restaurants to put more ads in. That’s how you can promote truth tellers in the media.