Do you remember when the news was the news? Thirty minutes each night with trusted individuals who dealt in facts.
The American Press Association in 1997 went about “clarifying the principals that underline journalism” through a national dialogue with citizens and news people. Nine core principles were developed, the first four as follows: Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth. Assembling and verifying the facts. Second, loyalty to the citizen. Must maintain allegiance to the public. The third principle is discipline of verification, which separates journalism from other modes of communication such as propaganda. The fourth principle is maintaining an independence from those they cover. Independence of spirit and mind, rather than neutrality.
Does this remotely remind you of today’s 24-hour news? I think not. A country as divided as ours needs the facts. Slanting of the facts to meet one`s political beliefs weakens our nation. The obligation to tell the truth is paramount. Twenty or more hours of opinion each day does not help educate us but rather creates a smoke screen of propaganda.
Lenny Perkins, Richland
Editors note: The other five principles are: serve as an independent monitor of power, provide a forum for public criticism and compromise, strive to make the significant interesting and relevant, keep the news comprehensive and proportional, and practitioners must be allowed to exercise their personal conscience.