The Big Question

Dissecting the news

Is everything you read, see or hear from the various news media – all just fake news? Do you rely on solid news journalism to be an informed US citizen? Do you trust your news sources? 

These are viewpoints that exploit our democratic society’s interests in the need for truth – in government, traditions, values, etc. 

Furthermore, they are also questions about our current political divide due to a major chasm in our American soul that really needs to be answered. 

Today, there’s a major news outlet to cater to every political flavor or bent in our frayed culture.

 The subject of my question is part of the fourth estate - news journalism, a staple of strong democracies past and present. 

For the record, I’ve been an accredited national and local print/TV news journalist.It is called the fourth estate because it is meant to provide a balance of credible community reporting regarding the promotional and national policies presented by the Congress, Supreme Court, and Executive branches (the 1st, 2nd and 3rd estates of democratic-oriented governments). 

Due to my personal ethics of journalism and developing a news discipline, you need to know I’ve studied to get a degree and also been trained to be “independent” in thought, word, deed, and action in pursuing a news story for over 35 years. 

So often, many of us do not understand or acknowledge the efforts, credibility, and balance that independent journalists provide to our knowledge of government, justice, and current events. That we have an independent press and a local newspaper who understands their fiduciary duties to the community is one of the keys to our national and local success. 

Many people across the nation want to rescind “free speech” and as a goal – to limit press access and/or freedoms in the Trump Era.

 I ask people, do you believe you can get the “truth” about activities, policies, and goals from your local, state, and/or national political or government leaders?

 Due to revelations often provided by the press during the growth of our nation since the 1700s, we have been presented with the real facts behind the numerous catastrophic national political, military, and social events. 

As part of the growth or curse of every generation regarding our nation, we now question everything about our society, its goals, our financial futures, and our lifestyles in America. 

Do we really need to question the veracity and/or credibility of our national, state or local news sources such as CNN, MSNBC, KFOR, KJRH, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Tulsa World, the Daily Oklahoman, and the Okmulgee Times? 

We all know that there are certain news outlets  that are not “independent” and lean toward the promotion of certain political parties’ policies and goals. We also know that other news outlets tend to lean as a “liberal-oriented” news source.

 Just so you know where I stand in this discussion, I believe in a “totally” free and independent press that provides a wide variety of news, materials, and information from solid journalists – in order to help spark local and/or national debates about issues facing our country and its citizens. 

As one of the critical components in a government-based or dictator’s takeover, the loss of an independent press or news outlets often leads to anarchy, cynicism, facism and/or dictatorial personalities (i.e. Adolph Hitler, Idi Amin, Bashar al Assad, etc.). 

What are your thoughts or questions regarding the existence and impact of ”fake news” on our future ideas, values, and actions?

*Community responses should be sent or directed to www.yourokmulgee.com for access, review, and approval of subject matter by newspaper management.

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