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Media reform something to unite around

According to an annual survey done by a well-respected PR firm on trust in media, for the first time ever a majority of Americans do not trust the mainstream media as only 46% expressed some level of trust. Initial thoughts might be “oh, those are just disgruntled Trump supporters,” but simple math would highlight Trump didn’t win 54% of the vote, right?

Call me an optimist, but maybe this is the start of unity in America? What a great thing to unite around as Americans: people not trusting elitist media personalities who rarely leave their DC, NY and LA echo chambers where defending the status quo is religion and the rest of the country is full of heretics who sometimes question this religion. While mentioning “mainstream media” and “establishment” typically can have you labeled a conspiracy theorist today, this survey shows most people feel something deep down that leads them to not trust what they are being told. More importantly, what happened to the fourth estate? Rather than hold powerful people/institutions accountable, the media now prefers to collude with them and play to audience confirmation biases.

This isn’t limited to hypocritical political coverage. Just look at two recent examples from finance and health news for where this distrust in mainstream news might stem from:



1. Finance news: Stock traders using an online forum are being censored and having their brokerage accounts shut down, while mainstream financial news networks chastise them and defend the “corporate raider” hedge funds who manipulate markets regularly.

2. Health news: We’ve been told lock downs and masks are tantamount to stopping the spread of COVID-19, yet charts between lock-down states and open states are identical. California and Florida have nearly identical 12-month COVID-19 charts. This would beg the question: Why lock down?


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Maybe unity in America will start with people demanding the media re-emerge as the fourth estate and practice objective journalism. A powerful fourth estate is critical to a free society. A weak one surveys with 46% trust.

Chase McWhorter

Carbondale


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