The recent presidential election created a tectonic shift in the role of the media. Punditry was left in a sham, fake-news reporting became rampant, and the mainstream media lost their credibility as the guardians of truth, dispensers of the facts and as objective observers of our reality. Who is now going to keep the politicians honest and the spin doctors at bay?
President-elect Donald Trump used the media as a whipping boy during his campaign and increased the public’s contempt for the press. How did we let ourselves get marginalized, even delegitimized, and what can we do about it now?
Where will the next Ida Tarbell, Upton Sinclair, or Woodward and Bernstein come from?
Somewhere out there are the men and women in the world of print, broadcast, and Internet media, who need to strive to regain the power of the press and to bear witness to what is about to happen in America.
Edmund Burke observed, in 1787, “There are three Estates in Parliament. In the Reporters’ Gallery, there sat a fourth estate more important far than they all.”
Now, 230 years later, it is time for us to collectively come down from the Reporters’ Gallery and strive to protect the Constitution of the United Sates and preserve the First Amendment. We have everything to gain if we do and everything to lose if we don’t.