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journalism vs. patriotism

As a journalist it is important to deliver news to the public. Journalists should report the facts and give the public the truth. In some circumstances their role as journalists is questioned. During times of crisis journalists are torn between how to report the news and stories. Things become tricky, and there is a fine like between coming off as a dedicated journalist and  being seen as unpatriotic . This especially happens during war.

The  question arises as to whether or not journalists should challenge the president or military leaders during war. In my opinion journalists should strictly report the facts when the crisis first happens. In crisis’ such as 9/11 the public is terrified and confused. They want to know exactly what is going on. Journalists do not need to be throwing their two cents in right away. They need to let people form their own opinions about the situation. Because they are in such a vulnerable state the media is doing them a disadvantage by questioning the president decisions right away.

As we talked about in class the three main roles of the press are being a watchdog, providing information, and providing an area for candidates to talk. Right after the crisis the press should just be there for the president to make speeches through and to give the public information about what the government is doing to take action on the crisis.

After the public has had some time to take in what happened the press should be free to pick apart and criticize the president. They should be able to critique and challenge the president. It does not do the public any goo for the press to stay opinion-less and quiet for the duration of the crisis or war. After 9/11 they press played the role of keeping the country together and being patriotic. They had to understand that President Bush was just as shocked as everyone else. Attacking him as he made his first actions would not have been right in my opinion.

An article I found interesting, http://atheism.about.com/b/2006/07/18/journalism-during-war-patriotism-vs-journalistic-responsibility.htm talked about how conservatives were more likely to want to “hide the truth” from the public and paint a pretty picture of the government and how they are handling the war or crisis. The author made the statement that democracy means that the people should have the power and that people can only exercise their political views and political power if they are correctly informed. Although I do not agree that conservatives hide the truth more than democrats I do agree with the statement that the public has a right to be informed and by being adequately educated they can be better participants in politics.

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