U.S.-based The Hill newspaper has published an article headlined “Should we still trust the media? Ask Israel and Azerbaijan” by Jason Katz, the principal of TSG, LLC, a consultancy that advises foreign governments, NGOs and corporations in the realms of strategic communications, politics and policy.
“Newspapers and the media being the guarantors of democracy by keeping our elected officials and government honest and our populace educated. It is one of the pillars of American political order and codified in the Constitution,” the article says. “What if the disappearance and downsizing of venerable American newspapers is not just about new technology and new media? What if this decline is also about something the media itself is not talking about…a steep decline in trust among average Americans?”
“With the explosion of on online media organizations, I caution friends and colleagues to consider the source of the articles they peruse. There are conspiracy theorists disguised as bloggers and bloggers disguised as reporters of hard news, but, thankfully, many in the media, including The Hill, have brought to bear new media to open an entire new world of information and, like The Hill, credible and authentic information, both news and opinion.
However, journalism seems to be played a little fast and loose of late. One need only look at the two major cable news outlets: Fox News clearing liking Republican presidential candidates, save Donald Trump, and CNN, clearly in the Hillary Clinton corner. Isn’t news supposed to be impartial reporting? Since when is it acceptable for the media, aside from an editorial page, to back a candidate in a race for any office?
Other formerly esteemed media seem to have also gone off the rails. The Washington Post’s “reporting” of Azerbaijan and The New York Times “reporting” of Israel are cases in point.
“It is clear by anyone’s standards, based on the negativity, nastiness and ubiquity of The Washington Post’s reporting on Azerbaijan that they have it in for that nation. Azerbaijan is a stable and reliable ally, a former Soviet Republic on the Caspian Sea that, since its independence, has politically and diplomatically tacked consistently toward the West. Azerbaijan is the lynch pin to energy diversity and security for Europe bringing Azerbaijan’s vast natural gas reserves directly to Europe, while bypassing Russia and Iran. Azerbaijan also happens to be a nation that is tolerant (predominantly Shi’a, Sunnis, Jews and Christians live with little, if any, strife) open and progressive, a close ally of Israel, the U.S. and Europe, but you didn’t read that in The Washington Post,” says Mr Katz.
“The Washington Post is the undisputed champion of Khadija Ismayilova. The paper writes about her often, alternately as a human rights activist and as a journalist and seems to treat her as their cause celeb, positing that she is being tried and convicted for her reporting and/or human rights activities.”
“I seem to remember learning in school that journalists report the news and human rights activists, well, advocate on human rights issues. It is interesting to note that Ismayilova was trained and employed by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, an organization established as a propaganda machine to promote the U.S. and its policies to the Soviet Bloc, now to Russia, Eurasia, etc. Contemporarily, RFE\RL is repeatedly described in the media as a waste of millions in taxpayer funds, not the least of which because the organization seems to think its mission is to attack allies of the U.S. Apparently, now Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is turning into taxpayer-funded domestic PR and lobbying group, which promotes its own agenda to protect its continuous funding.”
“The real issue: Is the American media dependable, reliable and accurate? Are they impartial? Does the American media take up the standard of their flavor of the day or are they reporting the news? For the sake of the American democracy, the media should be asking these questions,” says Mr Katz.