Honest journalism begets a better democracy
September 19, 2011
Filed under Commentary
By Sofia Denise Marie Close,
Middle College High School, San Pablo
Social responsibility clearly comes to the forefront in the conversation regarding how we as a society engage in communication through media and the practice of democracy.
Time moves on and so human habits and our dependency on tools to further improve our lifestyles changes frequently. The formulation of social norms and values keeps evolving as new technology emerges; yet, a basic economic principle of demand therefore supply continues.
What responsibilities do the media producers and presenters have to promote and preserve the ideals of democracy? If the public demands that they do, then when they don’t why is there no public outcry?
We need to question the direction media takes the audience in the instantaneous sharing of worldwide information. Today most people sustain their identities and communicate broadly through Internet, smartphones, networking, and simultaneous broadcasting. The leadership within the newsroom should sustain the highest standards to uphold truth with integrity therefore transferring honesty to the public domain. Tolerance plays a reverent part in this conversation since truth through discretion means everybody sees and values differently, and that’s democratic.
We teachers of social media and journalism have to meet the youth in their arena and hold the conversation with them about questioning and improving upon their habits in communication to facilitate equity. It’s not about me but the responsibility holds for all of us. We are challenged by convenience, instant gratification and greed. A moral stamp of approval is needed on every journalist’s forehead to guarantee commitment to informing honestly. News and social media impact the world significantly. People can ask the questions and demand the truth. Until we do, the supply will remain biased, projected and not free. Let public debate renew the purpose of media to inform honestly.
Sofia Close teaches 11th- and 12th-graders in Expository Reading and Writing. Other duties include Senior Project and The Panther Presents news publication. Her students are concurrently enrolled in classes at Contra Costa College.