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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/18/10

Where has Journalism Gone?

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This Country is an amazing place. It is filled with wonders from Natural to intellectual and everyday, when I leave my house, I straighten the flag flying at my door to ensure the eagle on the end is straight and pointing to the sky. I am proud to be an American for there is no other place on Earth that ensures genuine freedom in all its aspects. There is however, one thing that makes me wonder about my Country's future and brings a taint to my love of this GreatLand. It lies within the educational and cultural depravity enhanced and enforced by a growing mental laziness and blinding devotion to ignorance being perpetuated by irresponsible journalism.

We are all, in some aspect or another, ignorant of many things. If you consider the amount of information there is to absorb in the modern world, one cannot help but be so on one level or another. I am ignorant of many sports, forensics, genetics--the list goes on and on. Each day, in an effort to quell this however, I venture to understand as much as I can because I truly believe that a day without learning is a day wasted. The problem I've had in this endeavor is searching for relevant data. The ability to collect and distill information has become incredibly difficult not only because of the shear amount of it available but because of the questionable content which is in the available sources.

Today, as I travel down the information highway, stopping along the way from time to time to enjoy the scenery, there are roads down which I travel that are dependable for factual information and then there are those meant to lead me to wander endlessly through mazes of distraction. Like the tourist attractions of old that dot the interstate system across this country, some of the sites along the inter-global system of information are loaded with contradiction and broken promises of historical accuracy while the vendors, who lay out their faux-merchandise, reap the profits.

Today's journalism is rather similar to these road side vendors. There are places or providers that represent integrity while there are those others who erect plaster dinosaurs to attract sales from a walk through a fake history and manipulated facts. The latter of these two seem to only serve themselves, their own political agendas and their sacred profit margins. Some of these "journalists" are in the business of deception, of manipulation rather than the delivery of real facts to allow the viewing audience some depiction of the real world around them.

As one example of the aforementioned deceptions; In July of this year, Shirley Sherrod was forced to resign because a speech she made was butchered to emphasize a seemingly racist comment. A single part of the speech was taken out of context and distorted by an over zealous reporter trying to discredit her to outline racism existing within the current White House Administration. This simple 30 second clip was extracted and paraded as a statement of her personal beliefs when it was quite obviously taken out of the context of her greater message of tolerance and personal growth. It was a purposeful manipulation of the facts to support a political agenda by the conservative media.

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Steven Forrest is a Project Architect living in St. Petersburg, Florida. Currently, he is working to implement Green Building initiatives in several communities across Florida. Given the current situation in America and the continued (more...)
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