One of the great fatalities of the 21st century is the integrity of American journalism. We no longer have confidence in the media’s ability to represent the facts honestly and impartially. America’s trust in the news media is almost as low as their trust in Congress, and that is not a good thing. In fact, many Americans consider the news media as a branch of a political party, and No it is not the Republicans, which is why they look elsewhere for sources of news, mostly trusting live speeches, events and interviews, and not the OpEds of what was said afterwards.
The news media answers to no one except the almighty dollar. Even here though, their soiled integrity has cost them billions and they continue to lose subscribers and viewers. Therefore, the best way to attack them is to eliminate their source of energy, right in the pocketbook. The far-Left is cognizant of this as they have attacked Fox News and their shows in this manner for a number of years. Perhaps now is the time to fight fire with fire. Presidential election years represent boom times for the media. In 2018 alone, representing a minor midterm election, over $2 billion was spent on the media. In all likelihood 2020 will double this. Take away the media’s source of money and you are well on your way to crippling them.
I am often asked by grassroots voters, “what can I do?” Actually, quite a lot. Here are ten suggestions, some rather obvious, others coming from the playbook of the far-Left.
- “Just say No,” meaning cancel subscriptions and refuse to watch certain television networks. Ratings are closely monitored by everyone, particularly advertisers. When ratings go down, advertisers look for other avenues to promote their wares.
- Boycott sponsors – this is a favorite of the far-Left. Not only do they attack the networks, they also attack the advertisers through a letter writing campaign. Let’s put the shoe on the other foot for a change.
- Picket the news media – the media loves to report protests, but not of their own offices. Yet, their competitors are quick to report on such demonstrations. If you are going to do this, assemble an impressive number of people and have someone play press agent to let the media and others know of the picketing. Also, have a rehearsed spokesman ready to answer questions from the press (and have a press release ready). Even better, hold a Trump flag waving event in front of their offices, this will make their heads spin.
- “Be Vocal” – instigate a letter writing campaign to the news media for false reporting, aka “Fake News.” This can usually be done on-line through the company’s web site. The more people involved in the letter writing campaign, the better. Even though the news media will likely not print your letter, beat them over the head again and again until they realize people are not happy with them. Your objective is to make them squeamish about writing a similar piece.
- Write essays, blogs, podcasts or use social media to call for the resignation of certain reporters, editors and publishers. Again, turn the heat up by doing so over and over again. Conversely, compliment such people when they have done a good job. See a poll with suspicious data? Call them out on it. Do not let their claims go unchallenged. Most do not know how to conduct a fair and impartial survey. Let the world know about it.
- Seek out polls on news media performance – It is difficult to be put on a list to participate, but if a media related poll is revealed, be sure to tell your colleagues about it and encourage them to vote accordingly. Such polls are also monitored by advertisers.
- Distribute news yourself through social media – By doing so, you are discrediting “Fake News” and weakening their power.
- Push for electoral reform – the news media makes its billions thanks in part to a long electoral cycle, usually two years for presidential candidates, but if this was reduced in time to one year, six months or whatever, it would have a devastating effect on the cash flow of the news media. Here is another idea, instead of giving everything to the news media, how about establishing a $1-for-$1 concept, meaning for every dollar spent on marketing by the candidate, another dollar would be placed in a separate account for either a charity or to improve the nation’s infrastructure. In addition, to cutting the news media’s income in half, we could actually do some good with the campaign money.
- Demand certification – ask your congressman to introduce legislation mandating certification of journalists covering government. Journalism is one of the few professions that does not require certification. One program I am familiar with is the Constitution First Amendment Press Association (CFAPA). Their pledge is a sort of Hippocratic oath as applied to journalists. The CFAPA pledge means they will conform to ethical standards, imagine that.
- Report flagrant errors in news reporting to the FCC. This applies to news as presented on television, radio, the Internet, and by telephone. Again, the more complaints, the more effective you will be.
This is quite a list, and much more than one person can do alone, but if everyone did just one thing from the list, imagine how far we could go in terms of correcting the problems of the press.
Please note, I am certainly not asking you to break the law or spread fallacious lies, that is what the far-Left does. I am just trying to review alternatives to combat an out-of-control news media.
And finally, if you are part of an organized political group, appoint a news media coordinator who will solicit and train volunteers, devise strategy and lead the troops into battle.
Keep the Faith!
P.S. – Also, I have a NEW book, “Before You Vote: Know How Your Government Works”, What American youth should know about government, available in Printed, PDF and eBook form. This is the perfect gift for youth!
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