The Truth, the Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth

Ken Ward Jr.’s approach to journalism, at least what he said about it in the document we read, has put into words a feeling and ideology that I have not been able to explain. I think that if more journalists felt and practiced the way Ward does, the world would be a better place, and journalism would actually be an effective and respected profession. Ward said that most journalists are dishonest with the public when they say they are objective. And I say yes, that is it. That is the problem. Ward is 100 percent correct.

In my limited experience on this earth I have found one consistent thing about journalists, publications and networks and that is that there is practically no such thing as objective news reporting in America. Certainly some publications and networks are better than others, they actually try to be objective, but it seems like every story I read is just another journalist and/or publication or network trying to force-feed me their own political agenda or report on a sad story to try and win a prize. Ward, and I, accept that everyone has their own biases, and that alone is not necessarily a bad thing. It does, however, become a bad thing when those biases contradict the well being of others. In Wards example he listed his biases stating that he thinks everyone should have clean water and clean air, and every kid should have the chance at a good education, and everybody should be able to earn a living to take care of themselves and their families. Then he said,“Nobody ever really wanted to disagree with any of that. But they didn’t like how it manifested itself in stories,”And he wrapped up his input on the topic by saying that journalists need to focus less on storytelling and writing about people going through a hard time, and spend more time on writing about why they went through a hard time, why it happened to them, how their government let it happen, who did it to them, and what can be done about it.

Journalists Tom Rosenstiel and Bill Kovach wrote in their book The Elements of Journalism that “The primary purpose of journalism is to provide citizens with the information they need to be free and self-governing.” This is unfortunately just not the case anymore. Journalism has transformed into a never-ending stream of click-bait, sad stories and political agendas. That is not what it is supposed to be. I’m thankful for journalists and people in general like Ken Ward Jr. People who are willing to get the facts, make sense of them, and show them to us. People who are willing to expose corruption no matter the consequences or the backlash. People who are willing to report the truth.

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