It has occurred to me that the basic integrity of modern journalism is in a decline. It has lost it’s way as a watch dog, and has become more rating driven. It has been to much of a gate keeper, and they have only let things out that would benefit their side of the argument. It seems to me that every media outlet has some sort of partisan bias. As a result we aren’t getting the whole story, only the parts that they want you to hear.
My intentions are to solve these problems, or at least address a way that we can solve these problems. The most important thing that I take into account when writing is that I’m a political scientist first, and everything I write has to be with the objective of diagnosing a problem, and them prescribing a remedy to fix that problem.
- REPORT ON THINGS THAT EITHER HAVE A SOLUTION OR NEED A SOLUTION: I know that this part may be the hardest thing to grasp, but not everything needs to be reported on. Is it important that Donald Trump as a twitter feud with Alec Baldwin. I do however want to hear about how our health care system needs reforming, I want to hear about how a dismantling of NATO would lead to a domino effect that could leave the world worse off, I want to talk about the problem with the VA but then I want to instead of saying “our government isn’t doing anything” I want someone to say this is how we could fix it. The job of a reporter is not only to be the watch dog, but to also get the public energized by something that is happening. The written word has more power than you may thing when it comes to mobilizing masses of people.
- CRITIQUE A SOLUTION IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT: Here is the biggest thing that we as political journalists can do is to look at the solutions that are on the table and take the good, and the bad… NOT JUST THE BAD… It is our job to inform the public of what is going on, and how it will effect them. Yes I believe that a repeal of the ACA without a replacement would be a terrible thing. However I would be doing a disservice to my readers if I only told them that is was bad. Do I want to hear about the impacts of repealing the ACA without a replacement? Yes! However it is my job to look at the good and bad about the possible proposals and how effective they would be. Do I like the plan to replace the ACA with health saving funds? No.. But I need to tell you why I don’t like the plan and what I would propose in it’s place. Do I like the idea of banning transportation from outside the US? No, but when writing you have the be a realist and you need to know that something is inevitable, you need to know the actions that were taken, and possible things that could have been done in it’s place possibly make it more justifiable. Like a broad deceleration saying that “if you can’t provide documentation on where you have been, and what you have been doing in those places” no matter where you are coming from you won’t be allowed to travel to the united states. Do I like this plan? No, not really. Does it seem fair looking at if from the other side? Yes.
- Be objective: This is the biggest part. So many times you will see a news outlet hold one person to a different standard than another. Take the use of executive action by Obama, some would view it as an unconstitutional power grab (hail king Obama), while others would view it as him using the tools necessary to get the job done when congress won’t work with him. Now Trump comes along and signs eight executive orders in his first four days. The people who saw it as a power grab by Obama now see it as Trump doing what needs to be done, the people who saw it as Obama doing what he needed to do, now see it as a power grab by Trump. You need to know that in order to be an effective watch dog you must hold everyone to the same standard. Do I like the executive orders Trump has made? NOPE. But I do know that he is within his constitutional rights to issue them, just like Obama was. Sure I may think some of the things Trump does via executive order are unjust, but that is where I write an article about this is what the president did, this is what I think, here is why I think it. It isn’t my job to tell people what to think. It is my job to tell people what I think and allow them to either disagree with me, or agree with me. The most important thing to keep in mind when being objective is that there are two sides to every story, and in order to write objectively you must be able to see and understand the other side of the story.