By Silvio Canto, Jr.We’ve been focused on President Biden’s collapsing polls. It’s the definition of free fall, to say the least.
The media are also having a “trust” problem, and I don’t mean CNN’s ratings. As a friend said, the only people watching CNN these days are stuck in airports!
The media have lost the public, as we see in this new report:
The I&I/TIPP Traditional Media Trust Index has declined 16% over the past eight months. The index dropped 0.7 points or 1.6%, from 43.7 in September to 43.0 in October.
What is really surprising about this poll is how the U.S. ranks with other countries. It’s amazing to read that the public in Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil trust their media more.
Last, but not least, the article makes a few recommendations to the media to get the public’s trust back. The recommendations are so obvious and hit you between the eyes. This is the list:
Be professional. Follow the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) code of ethics.
Focus solely on reporting the news and hard facts rather than shaping a narrative.
Do not suppress or spike stories that do not fit preconceived narratives. Report all the news, regardless if it furthers an editorial agenda.
Try to minimize personal bias—separate journalism from personal political views. When you wear the journalist hat, you must give your readers or viewers unfiltered factual information.
Generally speaking, lean towards more transparency than less. Don’t hide behind anonymous sources.
Tell the whole story. Tell the beginning, the middle, and the end, and don’t start from the middle.
Don’t underestimate the intelligence of your readers or viewers.
Periodically introspect and develop best practices.
And last but not least, don’t ever invent stories. It is malpractice of the worst kind.
OMG, as my sons text me when I say something profound. Every one of these recommendations should be required reading material at so many of the media.
I love the one about not inventing stories…you mean like Russia, Russia, Russia?
Separate journalism from your personal views? You mean like Jim Acosta?
Report the news, not shape the narrative. You mean like moms versus school board members.
Frankly, I don’t know if the journalists are capable of this kind of self-evaluation. At the same time, they may have to, especially when the bean-counters come in and tell them the advertisers want out.