By Joe Buza, political columnist
President Donald J. Trump recently changed his rating of CNN from “fake news” to “very fake news.” This isn’t fascism. CNN has been notably biased over the course of the election, and now that they have lost their campaign, it doesn’t appear they have changed their ways.
Many have compared Trump’s administration to a dictatorship due to his criticism of the press. There is a difference between criticism and censorship. Trump hasn’t censored any publication, simply called their integrity and character into question. We are living in an age of revived yellow journalism, and Trump has tried his best to bring that to light.
For the media to regain its credibility, journalists need to start realizing their place in the 21st century. Mainstream broadcast media no longer acts as the gatekeeper of information, and they will never regain that power. In an age of Periscope, Facebook Live and a host of other ways to send current events to the world from the palm of your hand, broadcast and print media hold no power over the truth. When press narratives are deconstructed in real time by ordinary people on the scene, they lose their credibility.
The current state of the media was shown most clearly in CNN’s coverage of the Milwaukee riots. The sister of Sylville Smith was speaking to a crowd calling for the violence in the streets to be brought into neighboring communities rather than her own. CNN covered this as an olive branch by only showing a short clip of her asking for the violence in her neighborhood to stop, cutting right before her instructions to “Take that [expletive] to the suburbs!” While this may have worked in the past, in the modern day, the full video was uploaded online for everyone to access, and the narrative was destroyed in minutes.
I want a strong and free press, but I also want the truth. Currently, it is unclear whether the mainstream press can provide that. Until CNN learns its lesson and stops trying to spin every story into its narrative, I won’t support the organization. I hope the current trend of citizen journalism continues and we see the alternative media continue to grow. A new age of journalism has reached the world, and it is time for the old establishment to adapt or die.
Photo courtesy Mohamed Nanabhay, Creative Commons