When I and my peers were young men and women, we had a cast of respected, reputable and believed news givers. I won’t go through the names, but many of these people had been noted reporters during the Second World War and moved to the national scene as news anchors.
They were remembered by the American public as the eyes and ears of the people; they were the representatives charged with telling the people the way it was. [begin ital]And that’s the way it is...[end ital] a well-known nightly news goodbye from a longstanding CBS anchor, and we believed him.
The thought that the people’s news givers would be giving false news or news that was made up constructed from whole cloth was unimaginable. The reporters and their organizations were the people’s guardians of news integrity, and the news organizations, ownership, the public itself stood with them.
But this year we as a nation have been shown not only how fake news is possible, but false and misreported facts have happened and continue to cause a feeling of disjointed realty. It’s as though we are in “La La Land.” This has thrown many people into a state of, what, perpetual disbelief? We don’t know what to believe, so we believe nothing.
The different major news operations are in a fight for their lives and trying to hold onto declining audiences, while at the same time everyone is trying to grab news dollars.
All of this comes at a cost: Integrity and honesty, and for the people, believability.
Let the news wars continue. We know they will, and hope that the end will be signaled by news people who we as Americans believe, reporters we can trust and a concerted effort to bring the people together.
To you all, a very happy and prosperous New Year! May 2018 be the year Americans start believing in something other than their cell phones.
A point to ponder.
Phil Mikan is the host of the Phil Mikan Show on WMRD 1150/WLIS AM 1420 daily at 10 a.m. and the Weekend Corner Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to him at Phil Mikan, Central Connecticut Communications, One Liberty Square, New Britain, CT 06051.