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Saturday, June 22, 2024

It is the duty of a free press to be disagreeable, in my opinion. It is their duty to question everything, to hold governments, corporations, elected officials — no matter how minor their role, law enforcement, and even themselves, responsible for their actions! In a free society, as hopefully the one we live in is, we have the right to make sure that we are not being misled, lied to! That is the mission of the Fourth Estate, to keep politicians honest, or at least to notify the public when things go awry. I’m not talking about the garbage you ingest on TikTok or Facebook or X (formerly twitter) or Fox misinformation TV. Whenever I’m sent something, or told about some news that people get from any of those mediums, I immediately discard them. The Russians, the Chinese, and others are all working overtime to spread misinformation about everything! I’m just saying.

Whenever there’s the slightest hint of a government trying to regulate or modulate press coverage of anything, and I mean anything, the press should be able to stand up and say no, no you can’t, and no, you will not stifle us! If you can’t handle criticism, honest criticism, then you are in the wrong profession. If press coverage embarrasses you, so be it. You have to be held accountable; after all, you are handling the purse strings, the health and economy and wellbeing of the nation.

It is the press that we the people depend on, to let us know that you are serving our interests, and not abusing the trust we have placed in you.

One of the first signs that a country shows when they are going rogue, that democracy is becoming a question mark, is when governments start suppressing media coverage, start attacking media outlets, and when they start labeling factual reporting as fake news. We have examples of this over and over, including the Orange Orangutan, in America. Be an adult and man-up to your shortcomings, rather than whimper and complain about unfair treatment or coverage.

This is not about politics; all parties in power want continuous positive coverage, and are usually unreceptive to negative news, even when they themselves are the cause for that unpleasant news. But in a democracy you can fight against negative media coverage. You can defend yourself, fix the problem, and make sure that you don’t stray from the agenda you promised, to get elected!

A free press means just that: free! If the press decides to slander or twist the news to suit their narrative, there are guidelines to protect the injured; by that I mean, the courts. But a vigilant and honest press is as necessary as anything else in a free and democratic society! Their job is not to coddle you, but to question your credibility, your opinions, your sometimes-questionable decisions. To hold you responsible for your actions, to the taxpayers, to the voters you represent! There are times when the media might get it wrong, but self-correct, or can be held liable.

You are elected to serve the people, not to be arbiters of what is acceptable in the news! You do your job; take the praises, or the heat, and do your job! In this day and age, we should all be grateful that we have legitimate news coverage in the Jewel. Let’s keep it that way!

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