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Americans' Crisis Of Confidence In Objective Journalism Has Implications for Democracy

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Photo by brotiN biswaS from Pexels CC0: https://bit.ly/3kfAu6R
Photo by brotiN biswaS from Pexels CC0: https://bit.ly/3kfAu6R

Journalists are trained to objectively report the facts but amid the country's hyper-partisanship and the politicization of just about everything, basic facts are being attacked as opinion or "fake news" — even by elected officials.

The majority of the U.S. population has some level of distrust for news outlets — how they're funded, how they utilize sources and make corrections, and most importantly, their ability to truthfully and objectively report the news.

Americans are losing faith in journalism amid an ever-evolving media landscape, the rise of partisan and "pay-to-play" news, an unprecedented amount of online misinformation and its rapid dissemination via social media, and easy allegations of "fake news" to dismiss unwanted truths.

Can reporters really remain objective when reality is a matter of political opinion? What does that look like in practice? Who holds them accountable?

How can news organizations be more transparent? What else can be done to boost Americans' confidence in accurate, objective reporting? How does newsroom diversity factor into the equation?

What are the implications for democracy, if Americans no longer trust or rely on what's been considered the nation's "Fourth Estate"?


"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call  833-877-8255, email thesource@tpr.org  or tweet @TPRSource.

*This interview was recorded on Thursday, November 12.

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Kathleen Creedon can be reached at kathleen@tpr.org or on Twitter at @Kath_Creedon