“We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is afraid of its people.”
-John F. Kennedy, 1962
Who do media outlets report to? Who should they cater to?
In a democracy like ours, it is essential for the news outlet to focus on its readers as their primary concern. To uphold the watchdog role of journalism, news outlets mustn’t care what government officials or even private corporations think of their coverage.
Unfortunately, after years of declining reader subscriptions, there is a growing demand on news outlets to cater to their advertisers regarding content. News outlets simply can’t be effective and serve their role of protecting democracy if they’re simultaneously pandering to what their advertisers care about.
Instead, journalists must report the truth – and that must be the whole truth – to ensure they are informing their readership of the important issues, and exposing truths in government that can have an effect on those readers.