Posted: Sep 19, 2005 6:07 am
Press is different from media. We have an unprecedented amount of media now. Our government is a democracy and a republic. Aside from ideas of what government is supposed to do, it belies us to inform the gov't of what we want.
That being said, media is the means to communicate. Press is the function of reporting what is going on (and is an understood rule that it is supposed to be objective/no slant). The press, historically, has always tried to "state the facts", but gives into the base of influence. Yellow-dog journalism has been around for a while.
I don't purport to recommending regulation. Press is a necessity. But the media opinion (for a long time) has been that objectivity is boring and does not attract the average audience. But, truth is, the press has always been bound to media.
Media is Newspaper. Media is Radio. Media is Television. And within our lifetimes, Media has become Internet. Many facets of broadcast: free vs. subscription. ABC, CBS, NBC vs. CNN, FOX, MSNBC.... State of the Nation vs. Rush Limbaugh....
Most companies have a direct financial tie to each media type. It is necessary for them to advertise and "bring product". Not all companies advertise. But almost all have or are representented through Political Action Committee (PAC). All talk to media.
Remember that we get our ideas from these media portals. No one in the general public can be anywhere at any given time. Not too many have the phone number to all the folks in Rawanda, North Korea, Bahgdad, Kabul, Tel Aviv, Mexico City, or New Orleans (whose phones are down at the moment) to find out exactly what's going on.
I normally look on the New York Times' reporting as left of center, along with PBS, and NPR. I do listen and watch both of them. I also watch and listen to Fox and Clear Channel AM radio. I do this for balance on issues all over the world, as well as my own research (I'm probably more obsessed about current affairs than most, like some kind of obsessive-compulsive nerd).
I will say, I'm glad for this op-ed piece in the NYT.
Media has PAC teams. They court political influence. As do the Companies, who pay their advertising. Congress and Executive ply for control, as do parties (R and D). All have a PACs for buying power. Press and personalities make milk money from Media. Media gets theirs from advertising dollars.
Agendas are shoved down our throats. All the time.
What our govenrment is supposed to do, according to the constitution, is fulfill the need of constituents as we report our issues. Government responds, based on the choices of majority appointment.