Condemning the press an oversimplification of a complex problem

To the editor:

We all should be open to a debate about the role and performance of a free press in society, but to broadly paint the so-called “mainstream” media as corrupt and lacking in integrity is just another ludicrously dumb exercise in oversimplification (“Mainstream media already has lost integrity,” letter to the editor, 4A, Sept. 26).

This is the same dubious logic – which we see applied so often on both the right and the left – that is aggravating our divisions and distracting us from finding solutions to the problems that plague us.

No, the so-called “mainstream” media is not suffering an integrity crisis, although that’s a handy cudgel to wield as more and more stories – unchallenged for their accuracy – expose highly questionable conduct in Washington.

In his letter to the editor, Ken Schafer cherry-picked a handful of infamously embarrassing, head-scratching missteps by newspapers and television networks over the years and declared journalism irreparably broken.

By this absurd reckoning, we should shovel dirt on automakers because of their occasional rattletraps and condemn the airline industry over a handful of rude flight attendants.

Let’s have a conversation about journalism, but let’s focus on the true crises it faces: covering increasingly complicated stories with increasingly fewer reporters and editors; countering “brain drain” as thousands of smart, savvy newsmen and women exit the profession; and battling the “fake news” platforms that, as we’ve seen, are tearing at the fabric of our society.

David Hill

New Palestine

Former editor, Greenfield Daily Reporter