Tags: Media Bias | Presidential History | cbs | johnson | nbc | wallace

No Expiration Date for Integrity in Journalism, Politics

No Expiration Date for Integrity in Journalism, Politics
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Friday, 02 February 2018 01:40 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Baby boomers, what is the state of the political discourse in America? What do you think of the communication style of our lawmakers? Many born between 1946 and 1964 would give them very low grades.

Additionally, what do you think of the state of media? Do you think a high level of journalism is being adhered to? On that score many boomers would again offer a failing grade. We live in a world of tabloid journalism, with gossip-like communication spewing from the lips of our politicians and an overall "gotcha" mentality.

Were politicians always so tough and was politics such a contact sport in the past? The answer is a resounding "Yes."

President Lyndon B. Johnson was not politically correct. Back room deals did exist in congressional halls in past years. Journalists did not always agree with certain politicians.

Smear campaigns launched via the typewriter and the pen were prevalent.

But the reason why politicians seem so crude now, or journalists seem so deceitful, or why there is this widespread feeling that lawmakers are lying to the public is because our hearing of these issues is amplified. Do not underestimate the power of social media, cable news, and powerful talk radio; these forms of media can take something small and make it very big. You are bound to hear about it — for this is part of the culture we live in now.

What then is a solution for better discourse? Can we marry the ways of the past with the future? Yes, we can — for professionalism, image, and ethics do not have deadlines. Being good and decent does not have an expiration date. Being well-mannered does not have a time frame.

We are a society of phones, where what we see and what our reaction is rests solely in our hand. We look at headlines on our phones, read comments on our facebook feeds, and evaluate news via Twitter. Thus, one may ask, is technology the enemy? The answer is "No." We need to adjust to the style of communication of the day, and judge the people who are communicating with us based on the medium through which they deliver their message.

Yet, we also need to add one important thing. That is a filter. We need to judge what is said by who says it. We need to evaluate the delivery of the messenger by the biases that he or she may have. This requires listening carefully and making judgements based on your sensibility. It requires not going through life like sheep being herded toward what you are to believe.

One must listen to political discourse and journalistic reactions not simply as news, but from a certain frame of reference based on your own value system, your respect for others, and the ability to see good in others — even when it may be hard to find.

However, those delivering the message need to find a soul. May it be a journalist, politician, or business leader, one has to think in terms of honesty, accuracy, and consequences. We can respect another person’s passion over a subject they are discussing, and we can respect different points of view, unless the message is being communicated without any concern for the truth or consequences— which is simply wrong.

Communication styles have changed over the years. Thus, polish, rhetoric, and political persuasion have evolved. The messages of presidential candidate Jimmy Carter were tailored to the times — the post-Watergate era.

The tone and spin of Bill Clinton was well-suited for that time and place. Will history record that the communication style of Donald Trump had its time and place as well?

What we hope happens in the hearts and minds of our presidents is that the reason for what and how they communicate is "as a means to an end," but for the good of American people.

Similarly speaking, there was a time for good reporting from the likes of Mike Wallace on "60 Minutes," on CBS, and for the good questions posed by Tim Russert on NBC's "Meet the Press." Wouldn’t it be nice if good reporting would continue to be practiced rather than it being relegated to the status of just a historical reference?

Rick Bava founded and was CEO of the Bava Group, which became the premier communications consulting firm serving the Fortune 500 community. Bava became known for his popular blog columns "Rick Bava on the Baby Boomer Generation." He is the author of "In Search of the Baby Boomer Generation." For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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What then is a solution for better discourse? Can we marry the ways of the past with the future? Yes, we can, for professionalism, image, and ethics do not have a deadlines. Being good and decent does not have an expiration date. Being well-mannered does not have a time frame.
cbs, johnson, nbc, wallace
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2018-40-02
Friday, 02 February 2018 01:40 PM
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