Working in journalism, I am very concerned about the state of the media. When I hear people tell me they think the media is liberal or it has an agenda, it makes me worry that people are beginning not to trust the media, or that they already have.
It also upsets me when I watch certain networks that have an agenda and do not admit it when they do. Being a journalist, I am required in most of my classes to watch different networks or read different papers and become informed from many different sources. These are the best ways to get informed about the world around you.
Read the newspaper. I know it is not as convenient as watching the news or listening to radio, but it is without a doubt the best way to get informed. Newspapers are so good at informing people that you do not have to read the entire article to understand the whole story. Living in Los Angeles, we are blessed to have one of the best newspapers in the country in the Los Angeles Times. Take advantage of it.
If reading the newspaper is not an option and you need to watch TV, there are certain shows that will inform you much better than others. The first is “60 Minutes.” This is the best news magazine program on television. It provides in-depth reporting, it gets both points of view and it features a mixture of different topics. If you plan on watching a nightly news program, watch PBS news.There are no commercials, meaning there is no corporate agenda. It is an hour long, so you get the best in-depth reporting that TV time allows. If you like round-table discussions, watch “Meet the Press.” Tim Russert is one of the few journalists on TV who asks follow-up questions and gets information from both sides of the political spectrum.
Or if you like news that is funny and entertaining, look at the “Daily Show with Jon Stewart” or “Real Time with Bill Maher.” I know it is weird to think of a journalist advertising Stewart, but he covers the top stories well and, like Maher, is not afraid to attack both sides of the political aisle.
If you so choose to watch the national or local news, I suggest you watch more than one network. I personally think CBS is the best, meaning the one that is least biased, but I watch all the others too.
And please do not watch any morning news programs. “Today” is a sorry excuse for a news program. It reminds me more of People magazine than a news program.
Do not watch any type of cable news. No Fox News because, as we all know, Fox News is not fair and balanced. I also suggest not watching CNN, which does not report enough. Rather, it just mentions events. Plus, these programs are on all day and let’s face it, they do not have enough to talk about, so either they elaborate on current events or talk about them until you want to never watch news again.
The best advice I can give you, however, is not to listen to talk radio. This form of news has killed the media as we know it. If you want to listen to a news station to receive the latest top stories, that is fine, but do not listen to people like Rush Limbaugh. They distort the truth and give media a bad name.
I hope this helps because the media today is watered down, but there are still valuable sources of information out there.
Justin Satzman can be reached at email@example.com.