Having public media is beneficial to a lot of people. In fact 170 million or so they say…
I think public media is necessary for a community to be properly informed for the simple fact that so many people use it. Also this question is a little tricky. What does it mean for a community to be properly informed? Is public radio reaching a major amount of people? I believe it is . They have almost 3 million facebook followers. CNN and Fox News have close to that number as well. So people are listening and watching. Are they being properly informed is a different subject all together. This is a circular argument that will not get resolved. I think the question we need to ask here is is public media effective? And my answer is yes.
I think we must consider new ways to build a great network for knowledge — not just a broadcast system, but one that employs every means of sending and storing information that the individual can use.- President Johnson
There is an overall usefulness for public media. Silver in New Public Media states that the public trusts public media over the military, the courts, and Congress (Silver, 4). In light of networks like Fox coming under attack for obvious partisan leanings, it’s increasingly important to keep and fund it. Public media outlets can offer what others cannot and that is necessary and relevant for communities. In the age of the Internet, it’s easy to become burdened with news that you can and cannot trust. However, public media can give people quality news because they have to answer to the public, especially if these organizations want funding.
Public media offers quality educational and cultural programming for children. One obvious example is Sesame Street. This program teaches children the basics like numbers, vocabulary, and even foreign languages like Spanish. This is invaluable for parents and can help children in their development. Public media also offers niche interest programming, educational shows for all ages, and other programs that appeal to the interests of undeserved communities (Silver, 7). PBS and NPR are great examples of this. They have multiple outlets to reach people and keep them informed.
Having public media available is necessary for a community to be informed. They are outlets that directly work for the people they serve. They are valuable assets to each community and should be saved and maintained.
Public media is critical for a community to function properly. Unfortunately, public media like NPR or PBS are unpopular amongst Americans. These stations were created so that while tv stations expanded, there would be a credible source that anyone could turn to. The FCC has disbanded their policy that mandated stations to have a certain amount of time that they would have to dedicate to the news and education of the public. Public news stations are now all we have and without them, news would become increasingly more “infotainment.” I believe that NPR, and its counterparts, keep the other cable and local stations in check. They have increasingly been working to keep up with the future of the media.
People can now enjoy NPR from their apple device rather than listening in the car. They are trying to survive in public media 2.0. They are still proving themselves to be worthwhile to the local communities. In the graph below, you can see that the public still wants the government to fund the programs. The independent study backs up that the American people, including conservatives, value this independent news station. They found “Six out of ten voters (61%) believe the consequences of defunding PBS would be a “massive loss” (24%) or “significant loss for the country (37%).” Their findings are clear. The Americans are saying “Save public media!”
It struck me as odd that being in America, which offers so much news in my opinion is behind countries like Finland and Denmark with it’s public media funds. I think it necessary to have public media because then it can cover all counts of news and all views.
Instead of the one-way transmission of a broadcast signal to its many listeners, future public media outlets could engage with their audiences in more meaningful ways — covering important local events, opening their doors to collaborate with a wide range of media producers and community institutions, and encouraging public dialogue and debate. But if we fail to significantly increase funding, public media will be marginalized at precisely the moment they are most needed.
Silver said with the cutback of commercial news focusing on local content it is now the time for local stations to step in and step up. I believe that we should have local stations come in and have a voice, however I don’t agree that it should be the only voice heard. I couldn’t imagine a valid news program who did not cover all topics of the news, local, national, and international. When you read papers they still discuss things that are going on in the world, to things that are going on down the street. I think it is all in the way of balance and how to filter out what is important to people and what is not.
I must admit that I however was kid who enjoyed watching shows like Arthur and Zoom that were featured on PBS kids, however i did not think i needed them to become a informed about things that were going on community wise. They were merely there for entertainment purposes, though they are put here for educational, instructional and cultural reasons. I can agree with that aspect however, I think a channel or station that focused on more community issues and debates (and not just the board meetings) but of events and things of interest more people would use it as a source. There is something that I don’t agree with Silver when he stated
While the Internet may be an excellent resource for many things, it is not a viable replacement for newsrooms and content production facilities. And with local newspapers declining and other commercial media cutting back on local content, the demand for local stations to step into this space is only increasing.
I feel that it is important to take into account the technological factors that being a person in the 21st century has demanded of us. We must take into account that blogs and open forums have somewhat taken a stake in newsroom and production facilities. True it doesn’t replace these facilities but it enhances them if used correctly. The internet is a good source of getting people organized so they can do things and work together
About 40 years ago, American considered ‘Walter Cronkite’ was the most trusted man in the United States. It may surprise someone, but Cronkite was a CBS night news anchor. Yes! at that time people trusted journalists. Then, what about now? Who is the most trusted news anchor in this country?
At least, for those who get their news mostly from the Internet, which is the most popular medium in these days, “John Stewart was voted most trusted news anchor” in the country according to report of On the Media. What have happened between the 40 years and why now Americans regard a comedian as the most trusted news anchor instead of hundreds of real news anchors in the news channels? In addition, because people trust John Stewart as ‘News Anchor’ could we say ‘the Daily Show’ as ‘the real news’? Then, what is real news?
Tom Rosenstiel, the Director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism pointed out why ‘Stewart’ became ‘the most trusted news anchor’ in the state. “He is skeptical of what people are telling him and he shares that skepticism with the audience and that skepticism is sort of part of the bond”
And that ‘bond’ is one of the key factors to determine what is journalism or what is not journalism according to the Jay Rosen, a media scholar at NYU.
“Now, if my bond with you is “I never tell what I think, I only tell you what I know and can verify,” that is journalism. If I tell you, “I get involved in things and I show you what’s happening to me, and that’s how you learn,” that’s journalism. If I’m a partisan but I’m fair because I don’t lie to you, that’s journalism.”
Based on this perspective, we consider ‘The Daily show’ is the real news. Furthermore, I think there is no ‘fixed’ definition of news or journalism in the history. The definition of ‘news’ has always changed during the history of journalism. And Most of the case ‘people’ who read and watch the news defined what is the news. Therefore, we may say ‘The daily show’ is the real news.
However, I think it is hard to say that ‘the format of daily show or Colbert Report’ is the spirit of the times, or the future of the journalism. I believe ‘The Daily show’ is a byproduct of current commercial media’ slapdash news coverage. People didn’t choose ‘Daily show’ as their primary news source by their 100% own will, but the reason that people watching ‘Daily show’ is semi-mandatory.
Without Bill O’Reilly, ‘The Daily Show’ wouldn’t exist.
People lost their trust on ‘current news media’ and that’s why they watch ‘daily show’ as their last news options. (Sadly, I think NPR or PBS, which are doing great journalism are too bored to watch for Americans, and that is another topic that we should think about.)
Lets look at the contents of The Daily show. John Stewart satirizes ‘the messy and manipulated news coverage’ that has been done by mainstream or cable news. And as we know the most of ‘messy and manipulated’ coverage were done by Fox News. Just showing the original news coverage’s is enough making audience laugh because they are just absurd. In sum, without absurd news reporting by mainstream news media, The Daily Show wouldn’t exist. The Daily Show becomes another ‘Gate Keeper’ of mainstream news media whose roles are supposed to be information gatekeepers for citizens.
The reason people trusted ‘John Stewart’ is that they couldn’t find any other trusted news anchor in the real news channels, and the reason people watch ‘The Daily Show’ is that it is really hard to find worth to watch news channels in the cables. People choose ‘The Daily Show’ semi-mandatory because of current news media’s poor job.
I think, in United States ‘The Daily Show’ is news. However, I don’t think ‘Daily Show’ could be considered the real news in U.K or France, which have fairly good mainstream news media in their country.
Last year October, Keith Olbermann was fired from MSNBC because he contributed some of his money to handful of democrats congressman. before the mid-term election. In addition, lots of news organizations including ABC, New York Times, and NPR prohibit their reporter to participate in the ‘Rally for Sanity’ leaded by John Stewart and Stephen Colbert.
Before his contribution to democrats, we didn’t know he likes them?
Then, why do all these firing and prohibitions happened in all of the news organizations? Because they want to their reporter being objective or, at least, they hope they seemed to be objective. That means, if Keith Olbermann hadn’t give campaign contribution he wouldn’t have biased to republicans ? Or If NPR reporter didn’t go to ‘the rally’ that means they don’t have any political ideologies in their mind? I don’t think so and these two accidents raised an important question.
What are we afraid of?
Is it possible that journalist can be 100% objective? As every all of us is biased, I think journalists are not free from that because they are people too! I think we need to define ‘objectivity’ in terms of using in journalism practice.
First, I object mechanical objectivity or the idea that journalist should be stand neutral.
I think this could be a good reason to produce ‘easy’ journalism such as disseminating basic information or just follow up but not ‘iron core’ information. Readers don’t want reporters being 100% objectives, and whether they are biased or not is judged by arbitrate factors. For example, on the issue of Libya revolution, all of western journalists covered the issue based on the premise that Gaddafi is criminal, and he should be step-down. They didn’t consider arguments from Gaddafi side very seriously compared to that of rebels. However, nobody argued that his or her coverage’s are biased except Gaddafi himself. I am not saying that the coverage are wrong, but I am arguing that we see biased reporting every day on every certain issue, and, of course, Libya revolution is very political issue.
Then what about ‘political issues’ in United States? Is it okay to be biased when they are reporting international political issues but not okay in domestic issues? Journalist should hider their political ideologies and shouldn’t participated in the ‘Rally for Sanity’ leaded by two comedians?
If the role of journalists were offering only ‘raw’ information to citizens then I would say yes, but I think their role is not only offering basic information but also offering ‘the context’ of them with truth. And in this process, journalist should judge the information and context to find out the truth. When people judge, no one is 100% object; therefore 100% objectivity in journalism is just impossible.
Then we should consider about what are the best ways to deliver the best journalism to readers in the condition that we cannot achieve 100% objectivity.
First, Journalist shouldn’t distort the fact and its context in favor or his or her political interest. Journalist shouldn’t distort their contents as O’Keefe did on his video of NPR president having conversation with fundraisers.
He not only edited but also distorted.
Second, Journalist should be cool-headed and must look dispassionately at the realities.
Third, Journalist doesn’t judge very hastily. In most of very controversial issues, it is really hard to tell which party is right or what is the real truth of it. If journalists don’t have enough information to judge them, then don’t judget them, but give some rooms to readers that they can judge the issue. However, if they think they have enough information for sure to judge the case, and then just do it very carefully.
Journalists are people too. They are not special objective animals. Thus I think it is irrational to expect them their coverage’s are 100% objective. However, that does not mean that journalist could be swayed by public opinion very easily without hard facts, or could be very emotionally and attack their political opponents like politicians or Fox News. But what I am arguing is that journalist should try their best to gather facts and information as much as possible to judge each reporting case very carefully.
And if they were put in the very difficult position that should be in favor of one side, then their side must be ‘real public interest’ not democrats or republicans.
This blog prompt touches back on the “is the media biased?” one. Similar to media bias, ideally journalists and the media should be objective, but realistically it is near-impossible to find a completely objective news network. However, I think clearly nonobjective news sources should give their public a little more respect by at least admitting they are broadcasting to a certain constituency. The fact that Fox News still touts the idea that it is”fair and balanced” is laughable and, frankly, insulting to the intelligence of the viewers ( MSNBC‘s claim to objectivity is also hard to buy, though their slogan is less brazenly critique-able). As I said, it would be ideal for news sources to be objective, but they usually aren’t. Overtly-biased sources such as the aforementioned networks should at least own up to the fact that they are not objective and should market themselves as left-or right-wing networks, because those are their true natures.
I do feel, however, that some news sources make a decent attempt at being objective. The interview we read for today starts out with a preface mentioning how NPR fired Juan Williams on the grounds that he, “had violated the organization’s belief in impartiality“. The fact that Mr. Williams was hired by Fox soon thereafter attests to the fact that he may not have been very objective. While NPR is hardly 100% objective, moves like that signify an interest in being so. I have found that NPR usually does do a very good job being impartial, and politics is rarely the station’s primary focus anyways.
I do agree (to an extent) with Jay Rosen’s idea that, “If in doing the serious work of journalism–digging, reporting, verification, mastering a beat–you develop a view, expressing that view does not diminish your authority. It may even add to it.” The most important part of news journalism is “digging, reporting [and] verification”. And if a person is doing their job correctly, they will report honest news that they may not have objectivity towards. However, I feel that the majority of news networks preach in their own interest, don’t do the needed investigation to do so, and still tout themselves as “objective”.
In the end, I agree with Ben Smith’s pluralistic idea that “… ideological and neutral journalism can flourish side by side, each going places the other is unwelcome, and each correcting for the other’s weaknesses.” The objectivity that NPR strives for is important (and certainly hard to maintain), but the no-holds-barred nonobjective views of other news networks is realistic (if only they would admit what they are doing).