Fair and balanced?

News media has become infotainment more than true journalism

As a journalism major, I place a high emphasis on the aspect of being fair and objective when reporting the news.

As I came across a story regarding MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann and his suspension for making political contributions to three Democratic candidates, it just reminded me of how far off the current media landscape has wandered from this concept.

Besides the incident with Olbermann, an investigation completed by the Media Matters Organization uncovered that more than 30 Fox News hosts and contributors had donated to conservative candidates.

Now don’t get me wrong, I strongly support the right for people to have their own opinions and beliefs and have the right to express those beliefs. But as a member of the media, it’s your job to stay fair and balanced, as many of these networks like to say is the goal of their coverage.

But with the way the current news media is now, all the networks serve as are mouthpieces for political parties. The aspect of fairness and balance in journalism has been thrown out of the window as the networks focus on siding with a certain audience demographic instead of accurately reporting the news.

The saddest part of all of this is that it’s the people who are forced to watch this form of news that lose out in the end, especially college students.

As most people rely on the media to help form their options on political issues, people are not getting the right information and it lies in the way the news media landscape has shifted in the past decade.

Gone is an emphasis on true journalism. The point of the news now is for gaining a bigger audience and entertaining the viewer.

So it doesn’t surprise me that at Jon Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity, close to 200,000 people came out to see a man who has a show that while rooted in humor, has become an outlet for college students to get their political news from.

That’s the sad fact today though; we have to rely on a comedian to give us our news in an unbalanced news media landscape. Looks like I’m going to have to drop the journalism degree and start doing shows at comedy clubs. n