The days of Walter Cronkite and by-the-books journalism are long gone. Replacing them are outlets filling a 24-hour news hole with opinions and heresay, a growing sensationalism among even the most reputable sources, and rapidly evolving technology that is changing the way the news is delivered. Additionally, the job market in journalism has become dismal, which worries poor journalism majors like me. What’s wrong with the news is that even amidst so many changes that could potentially better journalism, readership and viewership have declined. It is much simpler to scroll through a Twitter feed to get the news than to consciously seek out information.
As a reader and viewer, I wish the news contained equal amounts of both domestic and foreign stories while still putting the most important news events first. American news coverage is notably different from coverage around the world in that it focuses heavily on domestic events and lets foreign news fall to the wayside. In a perfect world, American news organizations like ABC, NBC, and CNN would resemble the BBC. The BBC covers important domestic and worldwide events and holds itself to high ethical standards, which cuts down on mistakes and bias. In addition to being more balanced, I wish the news was simply happier. Almost everyone I know complains about how turning the news on at night is depressing because of how many sad stories lead broadcasts. If the news could somehow deliver a mix of happy and sad stories, I would be more willing to watch it.
If I ran a news organization, I would have my journalists and employees continually revisit the organization’s code of ethics so that the work produced would reflect our high standards. I would invest heavily in our multimedia and social media departments because the biggest growth in news and in revenue would come from those areas. In my news organization, I would try to balance revenue generation with good journalism. However, if I ever had to choose between making a profit and creating quality news, I would definitely choose the latter.