i24News Israeli Network Shows Unbiased Journalism Is Still Possible. Their motto: “Stories without commentary or arguments, presented expertly by excellent journalists.”
The American journalism profession seems to be in ruins.
There is very little reportage now: there is event-exploitation to advance a political faction’s agenda; and journalists who have dubbed themselves “experts” speak individually or on panels, tell viewers immediately what the news means, and what they should think or feel. Journalists freely tell the viewers what they – the reporters – think.
What a reporter thinks has never been, in journalism, something an audience should hear, except in carefully-labeled editorial segments, offered in extremely limited quantity. Albert Brook’s brilliant 1980s satire, Broadcast News, about the oncoming showbiz-driven news industry replacing classic reporting, shows a new “spokesmodel-type” News Anchor (a great-looking, great-sounding guy who barely understands the news he is reporting) telling an audience while forced momentarily to ad lib during a crisis, “I think we’re all ok.” Hearing this, the Chief Editor in the production booth mutters to himself, “Who the #$%& cares what you think?”
However – now in America, we are living in a 50/50 divided nation.
The Left tunes into CNN for their news; and The Right goes to Fox.
Their call-letters may as well be WDNC and WRNC.
There is no more news: there is faction-support and agenda advancement. News events are carefully spun to advantage the agenda of “The Side.”
The Left says the Right (mostly not-of-color Majority Supported) Wing is alleged to be greedy and evil, and only wants to preserve undeserved wealth and “white privilege” at the expense of equally-deserving people who have not as much – even if those people are illegally in The United States. At the bedrock of these politics is simple desire for enough stuff for oneself and one’s loved ones or “crew.” The desire is understandable, which is why among the “inalienable rights” the US Declaration of Independence assigns to citizens is “the pursuit of happiness.” Not happiness, itself – but an even-playing field for pursuit of (effort to obtain) happiness. Many minorities are unhappy with the size of their slice of the financial pie at present, which they allege is conspiratorially maintained unjustly small in contrast to the size others have: they called the possessions others than themselves have, “privilege.” This “white privilege” must be erased, and be replaced with an even distribution. This is deemed a righteous crusade.
The Right says the Left Wing (having adopted a role as Of-Color Minorities Advocate), is coming for instant affluence (happiness itself, in the form of affluence, without the “pursuit” obtain it), which they say they deserve right now, Those who “have it” now (often as the result of multiple generations of work starting from the bottom up) should be compelled by taxation to give away to them serious percentages of the fruits of often multigenerational labor, to be redistributed by the government to people who have not worked across generations, as previous waves of immigrants did to earn what they have. BLM Co-Founder Patrice Cullers said it overtly on CNN a few years back, when asked by a Caucasian reporter what the solution is to the race problem in America. She replied instantly, “You all gotta give away some of what you’ve got to us.” This is, to the Right, a typical “transfer of wealth” socialism that has historically been typically accompanied by the heads of affluent people being marched through the streets held aloft on pitchforks. The Right is afraid, and calls what they are doing, protecting American values.
Each side seems to hate the other.
Each side’s news organ seems bent on convincing their viewers The Other Side is pure evil.
And on “The News” in America – these tropes are nearly all you hear all day and all night.
Then – i24News surfaces with the motto, “Stories without commentary or arguments, presented expertly by excellent journalists.”
Watching i24News is like drinking purified water after years of being forced to drink water polluted with bitter-tasting Red or Blue dye.
For the first time in years, I felt like I was again watching Walter Cronkite, or Huntley/Brinkley. News being reported by journalists; not political indoctrination or Jerry Springer-style cockfighting with people shouting each other down in mid-speech.
I say again, the self-appointed New Priesthood of journalists, who present themselves as “experts” rather than interviewing genuine advance degree-holding or highly-experienced experts as they used to do, is using their bully pulpit to enfranchise themselves into niches of influence, advance their agendas, and subdue their adversaries, proffering as support their own opinions or those of fellow-journalists, who they introduce to audiences as “joining us to provide expert commentary.”
Social Media giants are joining the fray with editing/suppression of stories all the way to-cancel-culture removals of people, and even whole platforms, not aligned with their agendas.
The Left, fresh from electoral victories and President Trump’s massive January 6th miscalculation, is alleging 70 million Rightists who voted for Trump are as directly connected to the mere dozens to hundreds who abandoned an entirely peaceful protest by 10,000s in Washington, to invade the Capitol building and start The Capitol Riot. There seems to be a serious effort in progress to entirely disenfranchise the Right as having any remaining legitimacy in any corner of the political world. Statements from Left influencers like Prep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) demanding “lists be made of anyone who ever supported Donald Trump” are not helping quell Right nightmares about political purges headed the Right’s way.
The Right, still sore over the Left Press’s total suppression of any reportage of the FBI’s in-progress Hunter Biden investigation for influence-peddling in collusion with his father Joe and other partners until after the election, is crying out, “Censorship! Leftist-Socialist jihad coming our way! Time to suit up! Socialists are coming for us and our stuff!”
Civility seems gone.
The Right says the Left has gone entitlement-absolutist and insane.
The Left says the Right has gone totally greed-protective and evil.
And on “The News” – these tropes are nearly all you hear all day and all night.
Then, there is i24News is leading the way by example.
They are peacefully showing genuine journalism is still possible.
The Newspeople are not “the story.” The story is the story. The Newspeople are to report news: not teach the masses their own opinions. The words, “I think” and “I feel” – now business-as-usual for telejournalists – words unspoken by Murrow or Cronkite or Huntley-Brinkley or Peter Jennings, except in brief, non-routine editorials for extreme circumstances – are not spoken during i24News.
As I’ve been typing an edit of this article, I have had i24News playing in the background, and in the 45 minutes I have been listening, I have not once heard a single reporter say even once, “I think” in any form, nor have there been any dueling commentators shouting each other down and hurling their talking points at each other to score with the audience. Just news stories. Think of it! Just news – and occasionally, genuine experts or involved leaders being interviewed when their output is relevant. My soul is going, ahhhhh with relief.
The reporter is not the story: only the story is the story. The reporters are not telling you what they think: they are reporting what they have seen, or heard, or have confirmed through an eye-witness or interviewed expert happened.
Hallelujah – a word from the language of the nation hosting i24News
Here is Israel being a true “light to the nations.”
Here is hoping the American nation’s journalism profession sees the light, and comes out of agenda-propulsion mode, to recover the holy, necessary, and profoundly ethics-bound vocation of properly functioning journalism.
As the old prayer goes, “May it be speedily, and in our days.”
Bruce Louis Cohen
13 January 2021