Monday, November 16, 2015

A Broken Bridge

DuShuan Headd

When asked what the repressibility of a journalist is, I personally believe it is to report the news accurately without any bias and to be fair at all times. The media, often refereed to as the fourth estate, is supposed to be the bridge between "every day 'normal' people" and the government. If confused about an ordeal, the media is where people should be able to go for answers. People should be able to count on the media to know what is going on in their government and also portray what is going on in their communities. Unfortunately however, that bridge is broken.

It's a sad state America is in right now where trust in the media is shrinking. Though the media wants to be a friend to the common person, the reality of the situation right now is that the common person does not trust the media. Take for instance what happened to photographer Tim Thai. Although he wishes to cover what is taking place on the campus of Missouri, the students of the institution do not accept his presence. They resent him being there so much, that they break out a chant saying, "Hey hey, ho ho, reporters have got to go" mainly directed at him.

Whenever a protest takes place, one thing you are safe to assume is something is wrong. So I find it odd that students, knowing the magnitude of their protests would want to shun out reporters and stop them from broadcasting their voice. The word disappointing comes to mind when describing the affairs of students not wanting their voice heard. And although that word comes to mind, I understand how we got here.

Professor Catherine R. Squires talks about in her opinion piece why young black people don't trust the media and includes many double standards between the way black and white people are portrayed. She reminds readers how the media portrayed a young black boy as looting in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina but a white couple as looking for food. What she hits upon is ultimately what senior political columnist Timothy P. Carney  talks about in his article for the NY Times, and that is, "All news outlets are biased toward an eye-catching narrative."

In a digital age where "clicks" mean so much to news companies, often times the truth is skewed. As a black male, I can relate to ten problems Squires talks about and know that my community is frustrated the way a picture is painted differently just off the color of our skin. There is a broken trust these days between the media and your normal citizen. As one of my favorite radio personalities in Charlamagne Tha God likes to say, "Nobody cares about the truth when the lie is more entertaining." False headlines and portrayal is a problem and it all derives from the biases that are in news media. If trust is ever going to be regained, the news media must begin to lose their bias.

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