The media faces an unprecedented amount of scrutiny, due in large part to the rise of Donald Trump and his mantra “fake news” — and with good reason. Once-reliable news outlets have been tainted by partisan headlines, questionable sources, and a failure to report the facts as they stand.
In its Super Bowl commercial on Sunday, the Washington Post paraded its motto “Democracy dies in darkness.” And though the Post isn’t wrong — certainly knowledge is freedom — it doesn’t quite meet the standard it set.
When allegations of sexual assault against Virginia’s Democratic Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax emerged, the Post revealed it had investigated the claims for months and refused to report the story because it couldn’t corroborate the claims. But when similar accusations against conservative Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh emerged, the Post gladly published dozens of stories, despite the lack of evidence. And the Post isn’t alone. Sloppy journalism can be found across the board.
If journalism is to survive, it must maintain a higher standard — one of honesty and integrity. Agenda-driven reporting is painfully obvious to spot nowadays, and it only results in a further lack of trust. Journalism exists to serve a higher end: the truth. And if it can’t do that, it has no business preaching to the choir.