Office of Citizen
Rest in Peace,
CAN NEWSPAPER EDITORIALS BE HONEST?
Submitted by Roldo on Sun, 10/25/2009 - 12:47.
I’d have to agree with Elizabeth Sullivan’s Sunday column saying newspaper should take the responsibility of endorsing candidates and issues. I don’t agree, however, that they do it because they “care.” That’s giving them a little too much credit.
I think unfortunately that the closed way they make their endorsements are a disservice to the public.
The Pee Dee and other papers are always calling for “openness” from others. However, the decisions of the Pee Dee editorials provide no “openness.” They are closed about it. Kept mysterious as electing a pope.
We don’t know who wrote them. We don’t know if there was a vote, as we understand there is on certain matters. We don’t know if it was a 5-4 vote or a 6-0 vote. The score would make a big difference in how a reader would interpret the endorsement.
We don’t know, for example, whether Editor Susan Goldberg put any pressure for an Issue 3 editorial supporting the casino gambling issue here. My suspicion is she did. The fact that we don’t know the vote creates mistrust. The Pee Dee can’t afford any more mistrust.
We don’t know if Kevin O’Brien wrote a particular editorial. We could judge by the strong hints of immaturity in the writing. His columns, for example, are more jokes than considered conservatism. He is a disservice to real conservatives.
I’ve been going over a lot of personal history as I pass my 50th year of some of kind of reporting. What became clear to me is that I became disenchanted with newspapers very early in that time. My distrust came quickly.
Newspapers – or as some call them now, MSM (mainstream media) – long ago destroyed much of their credibility. They became voices of the establishment. They reflect conventional corporate ideas and values. They fail miserably to support of the needs of the poor, the poorly educated, and the unfairly treated.
They have upside down coverage of the most powerful, favoring the influential almost automatically. So-called objectivity substitutes for truth-telling. The scales were rigged, it was clear to me early on.
Newspapers cannot survive if they continue to represent those interests and values.
The New York Times last week said that it had more revenue from subscribers than advertisers. That’s really how it should be.
Newspapers would begin possibly to reflect the interests of readers. What a thought!
Boy, would that be a change. Maybe the only chance newspapers have to survive.
Why don’t they try it? I would not bet on it. Would you?