Many people across the nation are heartbroken and devastated about Donald Trump winning the 2016 presidential election. To many, this is a nightmare they cannot wake up from. While witnessing the emotional response to this election, it occurred to me that the mainstream media has failed in its mission to provide accurate news to the public. The political coverage on this past election cycle has left many desensitized to the evils (like racism, sexism, homophobia) that plague the American culture. The desensitization of America by the mainstream press has led many Americans to not fully understand the impact of discriminatory policies.
On Twitter, many users criticized the mainstream press. One user, Imraan Siddiqi tweeted, “CNN right now: ‘Maybe we shouldn’t have acted as a 24/7 infomercial for Trump and reported on actual news instead.'”
Of course, CNN did not actually say the above quote but Siddiqi raises a great point. Has mainstream media gone too far this election cycle? The mainstream press did not represent each candidate equally and gave significantly more air time to Trump, which allowed his rhetoric to take hold.
But now, in the dawn of the final poll results, it’s important that the press learns from its past mistakes and attempts to do better in the next four years. The press needs to actually serve as a check on the new governmental powers by closely following newly appointed officials, court decisions and the Trump administration. They need to be analytical and critical and tell the complete story instead of being a parrot of the government. Journalism has re-learned a valuable lesson today: What is published is heavily consumed and has great impact.
Independent journalism is more important than ever now, so that the new administration is held accountable for its questionable actions.
The Guardian wrote an article promising to uphold true journalism values so that the public will not be manipulated again.
“Now is the time to support journalism that is both fearless and free.”
Let’s hope mainstream media joins in on The Guardian’s mission instead of sensationalizing and normalizing hate.