I mean this in the literal sense. The news as we know it is currently breaking and falling apart at the seams.
Every night at eleven o’clock as my fingers fly to overcome my procrastination in writing my daily blog post, I turn on Comedy Central and listen to the political satire of the great news stories of the day as the outrageous and seemingly impossible political stories that seem to pop up on a daily basis have me wanting for a laugh to ease the drama of the world. The show allows me and other viewers to gain some sort of humorous relief and solace in a world that seems to be imploding upon itself.
It also offers a blunt criticism on how these so called media outlets handle these stories and their subjects.
Daily Show correspondent Hasan Minhaj was brought on yesterday to discuss the media’s relationship with Donald Trump. While they highlighted clips of Trump remarking hating on the media for reporting what he believe to be fake news, Minhaj accurately comments that the media, with their snarky responses towards Trump’s actions, have far removed themselves from their objective vocation to report on the facts in favor of opinion and are offering themselves up for more angry Trump tweets as they become the monsters Trump says they are.
He’s absolutely right. News media outlets that fall far to the right or far to the left have stopped telling the news in favor of accusations and snark. Yes, of course the stories we are hearing are absolutely absurd. Yes, the current administration in the United States is turning the world upside down, but it’s hard to tell what is truth and what is fiction when we only hear opinion. Why would anyone be able to believe the media if they just hear the anchor’s perspective.
Side note that’s slightly off topic before I divulge into my own take on this topic: we really need to stop overusing the term “fake news” when discussing the media. Media outlets like The Onion are fake news. They literally create stories that are not true. You know? The actual definition of the word fake. Just because a news channel or paper says something negative about you, doesn’t mean it’s fake. The word you are looking for is biased. Not fake.
Anyway, back to just the facts, as they say in the news.
Originally, I wanted to get into journalism. It seemed like there was always a job for reporters, and at the time, I needed a job. When a year went by after graduating college and I still didn’t have a full-time job, I ventured into the grad school arena. My goal was to enter into a journalism, but I was unwilling to give up my part-time job and potential jobs I could acquire in the meantime. So, I pursued a non-fiction creative writing degree, which I thought was similar. It wasn’t, and I discovered something about myself.
I loved creative writing, and I hate journalism.
Journalism, as I understand it, is the type of writing that reports a story. Yes, the details of a story still must be present, but these types of stories are supposed to be as objective as possible so the audience understands what is going on in the world. There isn’t much room for opinion, reflection, or creative writing.
While I understand the importance of a “just the facts” story and think that journalists need to return to this style of writing, I now understand why the fates pushed me in a different direction.
I’ll never be a journalist, at least the not in the traditional sense, but I’ll step up and record what I see as objectively as I can until the journalists remember themselves.
If honest story telling is not what this world needs, then that’s news to me.