I miss the press. To be more accurate, I miss the presentation of facts, absence of opinion, absence of speculation.

I don’t think anyone can argue that the way news is presented is like it was two or three decades ago. I was very young during Watergate and I have studied how it unfolded and the effects it had on the elections that followed. The reporters worked hard to verify information they gathered. Sometimes they had to backtrack and start over again, but they never gave up and never published anything they could not back up. There was no rumor or conjecture, just facts.

Since then, we have seen a proliferation of the 24-hour news cycle. It is continuous and impatient and in a rush to be the first and only mostly correct, pushing aside troublesome bits of information that don’t support a narrative. News sites are now divided into different camps of all political persuasions, each presenting their own facts, opinions or messages. I am not sure if this is a cause or result of the division of our country.

From the earliest days of our country, the press was looked upon as a crucial element to our society. To hold our government accountable, to provide information to the citizens on the inner workings – over the past decade or so, I have seen lots of reporting, commentary and broadcasting, but not much journalism. The art of taking an issue, peeling back the layers to get the facts and to inform the public appears to have gone. You must really hunt for the rare, random acts of journalism in the mosh pit of the news cycle. To me, it stands true that if you can determine the political persuasion of the reporter, they have not done their job.

Michael Buhelt

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