Exercising integrity and accountability in reporting

Editorial Board

The mass media is a beautiful thing. It gives those who have an opinion or idea a medium to discuss and promotes those things. It also brought the rise of mainstream broadcast journalism. People have an endless stream of knowledge and news that is always available to them. Many of the mainstream news organizations provide 24/7 news coverage. It does become an issue though when news coverage begins to paint negative images of people and certain events without having every bit of information available.

News organizations jump the gun on painting a public image too often. News organizations need to have more accountability and integrity. Biases far too often dictate which way certain stories are going to go. Preconceived notions influence how a story is told, and it often paints a certain group of people as much more dangerous and criminal than they actually are.

Many examples of these types of demonizing stories and coverage can be seen over and over. It isn’t just something that has happened in the past. It is still occurring, and accountability isn’t a strong suit with some of the larger news organizations. Entire races and religions have been targeted in a negative light by at least a few news organizations. During the Civil Rights era, much of the coverage was pro-segregation and often painted African Americans as rioting maniacs. Muslims have been targeted and demonized recently also. One of the best examples of an entire nation demonizing a group of people was the Duke Lacrosse team in 2006. Investigations were not completed and a trial had not taken place, but many news outlets were portraying the young men involved as guilty.

News organizations around this entire nation need to report with more honesty, integrity, and accountability. Reporting should be ethical and without bias. If all facts are not available, do not jump to conclusions.