Sunday, November 15, 2015

Pushing and Pulling

Abigail Gryzik

There seems to be a lack of trust between the media and the public. However, this is not an average relationship with a few “minor” trust issues. This subject at hand implies something deeper and far more complex than our minds might be able to fully grasp. As we advance further into the developing world of technology, I feel we are beginning to lose sight of what is trustworthy and what is not – better yet – who is trustworthy, and who is not.

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I could not believe my eyes when I saw this video. I was shocked, actually, that a teacher would treat a student like this. But this wasn’t even the biggest issue. It was the way the professor disregarded his right of the First Amendment to be at the public protest and document the action. Tim Tai, a freelance student photographer for ESPN, was told to leave after attempting to record the action of the Concerned Student 1950 protest.

In the New York Times article, Mr. Tai says, “We’re documenting historic events with our photographs, and when people are crying and hugging when Wolfe resigns, it becomes a personal issue that people all over the country can connect with,” he said. “It’s my job to help connect those people to what’s going on.”

Mr. Tai is ridiculed, yelled at and belittled, but for what reason? Simply because he was doing his job, and that is reporting to the public and to the people. Let me get this straight. Protestors are protesting to the public and want to shed light on the issues, yet continue to shoo away any reporters trying to document the historical events occurring on campus?

I’m confused.

The reality is, the negative perception of “reporters” steps in the way of why news began in the first place. The negative perception of “the media” steps in the way of it as well. It is a sad truth that in our developing society and social media world, we now see firsthand and question.

Where is this sense of pushing and pulling heading?

Since all forms of stories and chunks of media can be published online at anyone’s discretion, we tend to think a lot is either “invalid”, “too far left” or “too far right”. If everyone’s beliefs are different, something will always be seen as “biased”, as it does not line up to their own.

So who is the culprit? What is the cause of such a distrust in the media? Of course, there is always that saying that loves to ring through our minds when we find ourselves on the verge of disbelief. It goes something like this: “You can’t believe everything you hear.” But is it the technology putting our trust in the media at stake? Is it the media in its entirety?

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In the New York Times article, Timothy P. Carney states, “Democracy needs a trustworthy news media. For conservatives to trust the news media, it needs to better understand conservatives.” I feel we need to open ourselves up and look to understand one another. Maybe this way, the whole truth will be known.

One thing I know for sure is that we do need to respect journalists doing their job. While some give the job a bad name, this goes for all professionals in the communications field. They do more than meets the eye. It embodies more than just the asking of the questions or the onsite reporting. The core is to communicate to the public the events that are taking place in the world. The only way to better our world is to know what is going in within it.

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