Journalistic Integrity in the Modern Age
By. Raimondo Graziano
Journalistic integrity and the freedom of the press are on the foremost pillars of our democracy – the means to critique, judge, and in some cases expose the policies, prejudices, and character of individuals in government or power, or agencies or foreign governments keeps these individuals accountable and held to a standard. A standard that the public looks to, and uses to make their beliefs and opinions solidified, backed with truth. In essence, the free press helps to bolster our democracy by keeping persons in power accountable and in check, and keeps the public informed whereas to galvanize support or erode trust. However, this only works when the press publishes unbiased truth – not opinions. It is up to the public to form their opinions, and the duty of the press to present the facts. It is also the duty of the press to be prudent and exercise judgement in regards to what it is they choose to publish and push out to the public. Too often today, the press pushes forth a false narrative or chooses to compromise the national security of the nation. This is irresponsible and unprofessional. The case of this is no where clearer, or as near to clear, as in the case of Julian Assange.
Assange has, and has always had a poltical agenda – self motivated and propelled by his own vision of the truth, and the facts. He, himself is a small piece of the entirety of the journalistic community in many regards – the pillars of a free press are paramount to a functioning democracy, but when the press is motivated by profit, and by ideology the press is no longer free, yet – at the same time- as the people tout its greatness, and importance, they are too naive to see that the hands of power and control have shifted from nonpartisan purveyors of truth, to wealth driven capitalistic snakes – but the press as an institution remains untouchable to critique and criticism. Yet, a press no longer governed by truth, can still take aim at all manner of people, policies and the like.
This itself distorts the public’s comprehension of what is true and what is not – eroding trust in all of our institutions! The press like Assange, may have started out in this country as something from a place of good intentions. But corruption has overrun his intentions, and infected the execution of the seeking of the truth; and the same can be said for the press – the press has become corrupted, and driven by ideology and it is ripping the fabric of our society apart. Dividing and conquering by keeping us separate from one another in perhaps the most trying century in history. Assange and the press should be held to a higher standard. Those that divide, compromise our national security, and purposefully seek to polarize the public deserve to be firstly held to a specific, concrete standard and secondly if they cannot uphold such a simple request – they should be dealt with appropriately regarding those that seek to undermine unity in an already tenuous and fragile world.