Sierra Shares: Journalistic Integrity

As my final editorial of the year, I would like to address how journalists have diverged away from the path of truth. Journalists are supposed to be the bearers of truth, yet some refuse to tell the whole story. Objectivity has died. This world, as a whole, has chosen the path indirect opposition to truth and has merged with a new interest, gossip and infotainment. So many stories go unseen and unheard because nations have been, and still are, blinded by the constant bombardment of irrelevant information. Journalists have started to depart from the truth and have turned instead to writing crowd- pleasing stories. Because the public depends on journalists for recent information, the solution would be to spread real news about what is happening locally, nationally and globally. The truth within different cultures, traumatic situations or simply speaking the truth about an event all help people to become more informed and to have a voice, rather than to blindly consume information that has no real importance, except to those involved.

People have lost their voices in this world due to the lack of factual reporting. Because information from the government to the public is dependent upon the journalist, the nation then can make decisions together, like in a democracy, which what we are supposed to be. However, due to the loss of actual information form the government, people do not hear or realize what is happening. Gossip fills in the place of relevant news and blinds the public, thus filling their minds with unimportant information. Keeping Up With the Kardashians has 3.19 million viewers on TV alone, compared to Reuters News that just recently hit a million viewers, that’s a 2.19 million difference in people watching irrelevant situations that do not affect them rather than factual nonbiased news that help spread what exactly is happening within our nation.  That is 2.19 million people blinded by fluff entertainment. 2.19 million people unaware of what is happening politically, socially and economically in the world… 2.19 million people oblivious to the cruel and inhuman society that is our world because they are too busy watching a melodramatic family with internal conflicts that has no real importance to the people outside of it. Because of this, the people have lost their will to speak up, they have lost the spark within themselves to ignite a flame and fight for what they believe is right. Without this flame within us, the government uses this to their advantage and sets plans for lowering the budget for foreign aid or sending an airstrike to Syria and potentially starting another World War or lifting hunting restrictions on animals that are still considered endangered. The people of the nation are so focused on foolish things when instead we should be focusing on the problems within our nation as well as outside of it to promote peace. However, if the only minds that are dealing with these conflicts are the officials then mistakes can easily be made and the outcome of this is the public reacting negatively to the decisions of the officials.

A simple solution to this problem is for the public to become more aware of the political, economic and social status their nation is in, which will in turn lead to a more democratic country built upon the decisions of the public. However, this can only be possible if journalists and news channels amplify the more important things such as any direct news that could potentially affect others within the nation instead of pointless things such as Kylie Kardashian’s baby being born. Many journalists are known for their skills in writing and spreading news, but out of those, many are entertainment journalists that aim to get a rise out of the public rather than trying to spread awareness for things such as poverty levels in another country, or the 45.2 million refugees that are scattered around the world, or even how large of an industry human trafficking has become. All these topics are overlooked because journalists do not emphasis them when other pointless news is mixed with them. Emphasized relevant news leads to the public becoming more aware and thus more participative within the country they live in.

Over the course of the last few years there has been a significant degradation of factual news spreading compared to irrelevant news spreading. Journalists have caused this problem, but they can also be the solution with change. If journalists focus their attention to the real issues within our world and promote the solution then peace might be a step closer than how we are right now. People are reliant on others to fix the problems while they are too focused on things that do not affect them the slightest bit. This needs to change. In order for us to improve as a community we must first become aware of what is happening within it and prioritize the issues that need to be addressed. Like I said before, journalists are the communicators to the people, and if journalists do not spread important material then the public is completely blinded and shunned from any form of decision making within their country. As a journalist myself, seeing other journalists using their skills to spread unimportant material is disappointing. We must steer back onto the path of truth to ultimately give the voice back to the public and evolve the world into a more aware society.