The modern day media industry is experiencing record levels of mistrust in recent years with the emergence of online media as key role in the information delivery component of people’s lives. This mistrust has led to the decline in traditional print media with organizations like the New York Times (NYT) having to shift the majority of their resources online. This shift was not enough with the NYT offering all people equal access to their website with some advertisements of course, however many journalists still feel the financial pressure as demonstrated by the Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ) survey (March 2008):
The pressure is quite evident from the above graph with the majority of journalists stating that pressure has grown in the last 3 years.With all this pressure to meet the bottom line, journalism is not what it used to be. This is where online journalism should have taken over with their low costs but their revenue model combined with reporter and server costs leaves little room for growth. How can we as the public trust the media when we know they are trying to keep themselves out of the red? We cannot trust them. Simple as that.
I am not saying that the media organizations are out there are trying to deliberately mislead the public but if that misdirection leads to higher ratings then why not? Take for example the recent coverage about the disunity amongst the Democratic party, it always seems to be appearing online and offline wherever you look but how true is this disunity? No one can really know because it would be impossible to fathom the exact number of people that will note vote for Senator Obama.
Additionally I would like to make the distinction that this includes all media organizations and not just the conservative Fox News. When we have organizations like CNN running with the following headline:
Poll: Some Clinton supporters still not embracing Obama
You have to wonder what are they thinking? The only logical conclusion is that they are playing on the fears of Democrats and the hopes of Republicans. A guaranteed boost no matter which way you look at it, another graph from the PEJ illustrates how truly skewed this last week has been in terms of media coverage:
My biggest concern in all of this is that the traditionally liberal organizations like CNN, MSNBC, ABC, and CBS are playing right into the hands of the Republican media movement i.e. keep the Democrats wondering, fighting and hopefully John McCain will win. I hope that my fellow Democrats realize this and further more that they will make every effort to support a Democrat rather than not vote at all in the general election.