This post was read by Kristine Pierce as part of our "Who are the Democrats in St. Clair County?" project.
My name is Kristine Pierce and I live on Harsen’s Island. The media-print, televised, radio, and social, plays a huge role in our politics. We rely on news organizations to inform us about what’s happening in our country, and we expect them to be impartial and to deliver the facts as they stand.
A strong democracy requires media that is fact-based and represents different viewpoints. When media moves away from speaking truth and engaging in legitimate debate, our democracy becomes weaker.
As it stands now, our nation is deeply divided along partisan lines. The existence of partisan news organizations and social media bubbles allows people to retreat from honest discussions with those who disagree with them to the comfort of an echo chamber that will simply tell them what they want to hear, true or not. Doing so effectively closes them off from reality and allows them to believe whatever “truth” they wish.
Major news organizations bear a significant amount of the blame. Outlets like Fox News and others on the Right constantly spin and distort even the clearest facts and evidence if they don’t fit a preconceived narrative. This muddies the waters and makes people doubt objective truth even when it’s staring them in the face. Outlets on the Left, meanwhile, are so consumed by being “balanced” that they give voice to lies and conspiracy theories in an effort to avoid charges of bias, forgetting that the truth has no bias, it’s simply the truth.
There is room for debate between people with different opinions, but those opinions must be legitimate and based on evidence. There should be no room for debate, however, when one side has abandoned reason and simply aims to sew doubt and discord.
A strong democracy requires media that is fact-based and represents different viewpoints, and our current media organizations must do better.