Journalism in 2016
It's surprising how powerful journalism is in 2016. It's changing, but it still follows the pattern of previous elections. Is it rigged? Yes, I think so.
by Dave The Blogger Tuesday, October 25, 2016

I'm as surprised as anyone at how powerful journalism has been in this election season. They seem to control how the mood swings in the country. I think they could probably make it so one candidate wins and the other loses. Is that rigging? Yes, I think it is. 

I agree with many of the things they say about rigged elections. But I don't think it was a secret, so if you entered the race in 2015, thinking you'd run for president, you don't get to call a do-over just because it is what it obviously was. That's bad sportsmanship. We wouldn't tolerate it in the NFL or NBA, why should we put up with it in politics?

Social media mirrors what's said on TV

On social media, a lot of what you see are just rehashes of what's said on the cable news talk shows. And they just rehash the same talking points over and over. Someone should make a list of them. Basic common-sense ideas that people say to fill the time. It feels at times like its an opera, with each singer asked to sing a part at various times by the conductor, Chris Matthews or John Dickerson or Rachel Maddow.

I guess that's journalism? Seems it fits the basic definition. It's not imho good journalism, but that isn't the point. (It's not good because questions that concern voters often don't get asked, just questions that concern insiders. Which causes all discourse, even among voters, to center on insider issues.)

What is journalism?

Then you have to ask the obvious question -- what is journalism? Here goes..

You can look at journalism as a process that yields a result. It begins with an interest or a question. Are young blacks voting for Hillary? Find young black people, ask them. Get expert opinions -- talk to pollsters and sociologists. All the time you're doing searches, read what people say on Twitter or their blogs. Write it all up, edit it, add pictures, maybe a video, give it a title, hit Publish. Feedback. Corrections. A process that yields a result, the mechanics of journalism.

Of course journalism is also a set of ethical rules. If you have an interest in the topic you're writing about, disclose it. Include context so you reflect not only what the person said, but also their intent. Never include something you know to be false without saying so. 

PS: This piece was inspired by a passionate essay in New York Mag about "citizen journalism." I think the author is correct, but the amateurs are doing it the way the pros do it.