The fourth estate in the US is facing a major problem, and it’s not looking good, folks.
There was a time when the press held a mighty position in American democracy and governance. They served as a crucial check and balance, enlightening the citizens about social, political, and economic processes while holding leaders accountable. But somewhere along the way, something really awful happened.
News transformed into pure entertainment, reporting became a platform for personal opinions, and the press essentially lost its true purpose.
If you happen to be a journalist in this day and age, how do you even make a living? By simply reporting the facts? Nah, that won’t do. Who’s going to pay you top dollar for that? To make a name for yourself in the industry, you’ve got to go beyond the mundane and boring facts. You’ve got to be bold, and being bold means expressing strong opinions, and manufacturing a few “facts” in the process. However, now you need to deal with another somewhat recent phenomenon which is the outcome of social media. Strong opinions only gain attention if they align with the mindset of your readers. Most people don’t consume news that’s not aligned with their belief system. So, your choices become limited: either you go “left” or go “right” and make everything about topics that are sensitive.
That’s the sorry state of affairs we find ourselves in. Ideas don’t have much of a meaning other than the ones that come from media tycoons who own the major networks, or CEOs of social media companies. Whether you are an individual journalist or a company, you will get labeled in one of two ways, a liberal or a conservative. In other words, if I know where you stand on global warming, I can pretty much predict your stance on gun laws in our country. Do you know why? Because the United States has lost its sense of reason. The media today is buzzing with opinions that can only be identified based on which side of the dividing line you fall on. It’s become a game, my friends! You’re either with us or against us and let me tell you, you’re just a pawn in the hands of the media and politics. You have an opinion, only because they want you to have a strong one!
Partisan politics, cozy relationships with business interest groups, and the influence of money in governance are all working together to shape the ideas of citizens. Those in power, with their own conflicts of interest, know all too well that a large portion of Americans are either naive or easily swayed. Americans are being programmed to choose a side, and it’s all part of a bigger scheme.
So, my friends, the fourth estate in the US has ceased to exist. We, the people, are caught in a web of manipulated opinions and biased information. Are some of us, who still retain our sanity when it comes to choosing sides, doing anything to reclaim our voice, and our critical thinking, and demand a return to journalism that serves the truth and holds the powerful accountable? Is their a slow brewing revolution taking place?