Newsworthiness: The media must return to the roots of a free press
Newsworthiness too often comes down to ratings and sales. Ratings- and sales-driven coverage has led to more echo chambers of hyper-partisanism, fast food empty calorie stories of celebrity scandals and tragic event saturation.
These trends have opened the door to more vocal media criticism and skepticism. The media can reverse this trend by coming back to the roots of a free press.
News must be timely but also timeless. While news has no friend or foe or agenda, it does have impact.
Regardless of flavor of the month celebrity or political point of view or even possible impact on sales, important stories present themselves by declaring their impact on humanity.
It is the job of the journalist to help a reader understand that impact.
A journalist does not interpret news but provides context for the events of the day. If the news is controversial, journalism doesn't just confirm what either side is expected to hear but uses research and balance to educate.
If the news is tragic, journalism doesn't just inform us of numbers but also tells us of the people behind those statistics.
Warren Buffett said "The smarter the journalists are, the better off society is. (For) to a degree, people read the press to inform themselves -- and the better the teacher, the better the student body."
Furthering Mr. Buffett's analogy, ambitious students are curious and seek teachers who challenge their preconceptions.
Journalists need to reach for the highest standards of ethics with balance and thorough research. Readers need to do the same.
Journalism, like education, needs engagement of all parties.