Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corp., the parent company of Fox Broadcasting Company, recently donated $1 million to the Republican Governors Association.
This hardly comes as a surprise to anyone who has watched Fox News. They are as reliably anti-Obama and pro-Republican as MSNBC is the other way around. The real issue it presents is the inability for one to receive, as Fox ironically boasts, fair and balanced news.
Rare is the media outlet today that actually gives an equal voice to both sides.
This is especially true in American TV news media. One given network will have analysts who nearly all slant to one side, which prevents Americans from getting balanced news. There are also “infotainment” news shows like 60 Minutes and Dateline NBC that consist of pseudo-news that is only meant to entertain and be profitable.
For news, my favorite source is the BBC. I can read online news stories for free, and British people can also watch their news commercial-free without much concern about biased reporting. While it is impossible to be 100 percent neutral when reporting, the BBC is far better than the private media in the United States.
What sets the BBC apart from the rest is the fact that the British government runs the station, while Fox, MSNBC, CNN and other stations as well as newspapers here in the U.S. are privately owned. The BBC is not worried about having to use sensationalist reporting – combining entertainment with news – to get ratings or even bias themselves intentionally to make them distinct from the rest (as Fox clearly does.) They also do not need to worry about making a profit since the network is commercial-free.
Most people don’t comprehend the importance of neutrality in reporting. Individuals use the media to collect data and form opinions, and they cannot truly think for themselves if the media does it for them. While private media should be allowed to exist and should be embraced as an integral part of the First Amendment, there is clearly a need for an independent agency financed by the government to provide news. This will provide a key component of a free society currently missing in the United States: the ability for citizens to make their own decisions on issues before evaluating political candidates and voting, not simply regurgitating whatever their favorite channel thinks.
The media has influencing powers that most could not comprehend. An example is Izzy Asper, who could have been considered the Canadian equivalent of Murdoch. Prior to his death in 2003, Asper was known for forcing his own political views on editorial writers. One writer, Russell Mills, was fired for publishing an article criticizing then-Prime Minister Jean Chrétien in 2002.
TCU expects its students to think and act as ethical leaders and responsible citizens in the global community. The key intent in that sentence is for us to think first, then act properly upon that thought. The ability of one to think independently is the foundation for our mission statement, but we cannot truly think for ourselves if we let others do it for us. Therefore, it becomes our responsibility to change the policies of our nation to enable the citizens of this country to truly think on their own.