Photo by Stampede

Hailey Finch, Introduction to Journalism Student

America’s opinions on the media and their perceived role is a highly polarized topic. Today, this is a prevailing issue that is affecting people’s day to day lives, from their political parties, moral values, and beliefs on freedom.

There is no longer a feasible option to be non-partisan towards a topic or to hold a centralized opinion towards it. It is do or die, especially in the case of the media and news coverage.

To many, journalism is an industry filled with money grabbing, idiotic people. To another, slightly less significant, group, journalism is a sanctity of American freedom that cannot be infringed upon for fear of knocking down the next domino after it, and the next, and the next. It is harder to find those who stand in between these extremes, despite the fact that they truly are the majority of the nation.

There must be a question posed, then, why the smallest amount of people have the largest voice. There is no concrete answer, but a mixture of the explosion of the internet, the introduction of 24 hour news, and a growing chasm in between American values all have their role in this issue.

Times have changed drastically since the 1980’s, a time during which much of the population lived through, and journalism has changed with it. The news-coverage that older people were accustomed to is simply not feasible in the modern world.

The way journalists get their news, what sort of news they peruse, and how that news is delivered have all changed since the 80’s. Not everyone is comfortable with this. Throughout American history, there have been countless conflicts of interest caused by a harshly divided nation. Change versus tradition will be an ongoing issue that cannot be solved simply.

I do not believe that I have had enough life experience or information to properly judge journalists. Even if I were to hold a solid opinion about this topic, I am not in any place to go around telling people to change the way they do their jobs.

I am sitting in the passenger seat of history, watching it go past in real time. To stick to a single opinion in an era of constant change is to lock myself in the trunk. I do not know what the future of journalism is, and I cannot pretend to think I do. I’m simply along for the ride, and I am hoping to be able to open the atlas at some point and help the driver out a couple of times along the way.