TWW Poll: Is the Media the Enemy?

President Donald J. Trump has said several times that the media is the “enemy” of the people. (Source)

Today’s poll here at The Western Word asks, “Is the media the enemy of the people?”

If you do not see the poll, click on “more.”

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Gallup: Little Confidence in Newspapers, TV News

Back in April we witnessed the media during one of its worst times when, right after the Boston Marathon bombings, we saw headlines on April 17 like, “Official: Suspect in Custody in Boston Bombings” and “Suspect Nabbed in Boston Marathon Bombing.”

Neither headline was true. In the rush to be first, they failed in one major area: Being accurate. The suspect was actually “nabbed” two days later.

Now we find a new poll from Gallup telling us “Americans’ confidence in newspapers fell slightly to 23% this year.” Confidence peaked for newspapers back in 1979 at 51%.

If you believe in television news, guess what – the confidence in television news is also sitting at 23%. It peaked at 46% back in 1993, according to Gallup.

So, as Gallup puts it, “Fewer than one in four Americans confident in newspapers, TV news.”

Ouch.  Continue reading

Media Feuds

It’s not too often that a small-market newspaper goes after another small-market media outlet, but that was what happened in Great Falls (MT) on July 2.   So before this Viewpoint from the Great Falls Tribune Editorial Board is placed into the archives (and we have to pay to read it), I wanted to comment about it.

The Tribune Editorial Board was bothered that “one local media outlet” released the name of an accident victim before (they contend) all the relatives were notified.  The Tribune was also miffed that that the same media outlet reported that an alleged beating victim from Great Falls had died in a hospital in Salt Lake City.  The Tribune contends the beating victim was still alive at that time and even Tweeted on June 25: Continue reading

Politics 2010: The Morning After

It’s the morning after and the political junkies across the country are wiping sleep from their bloodshot eyes, sipping on that cup of coffee, and hoping that the caffeine kicks in soon so that they can go about their day.

To many of us, election night is better than the Super Bowl or any game seven.

There are a few things to take away from the 2010 election. Yes, I have to comment on the media coverage, too. And, there are awards at the end!

Hundreds of people followed me on Twitter last night and thousands more read the commentaries on this website about the elections over the last few weeks. A few years ago a friend said this about me, “You know more about politics and elections than anyone who follows or works in politics in Montana and the Rocky Mountain West.” I said, “That and a dollar will get me a cup of coffee.”

Or I can just Tweet about it and write commentaries on this website!

Late last night I sent a few congratulatory e-mails around the country to friends who had won races. One person who had crushed her opponent in a highly Democratic district replied, “I learned from the best.” That was nice…

Armed with a few glasses of Merlot and some food, I watched the races until about 1:00 a.m. and here are some observations:

Things that made me happy: Continue reading

The Media: We Don’t Trust You

A new poll was recently released by Gallup and it tells us that “the majority of Americans say they have little or no trust in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly.”

You can read the full poll HERE.

Probably the only group that is distrusted more is politicians…and the media reports on politicians.

Used car sales people are rejoicing.

It seems in the last decade or so, many reporters have forgotten about the “Five Ws:” Who, What, When, Where, and Why.

We really don’t have any Walter Cronkites these days.

On Life Support?

In Monday’s Washington Post, Howard Kurtz writes about “Unfriendly fire: The angry media” where he mentions all the stuff that’s been going on in the media the last few weeks (Sherrod, New Black Panthers, etc.) and how the major media outlets are going after each other.

But what caught my attention was what Kurtz wrote about blogging and tweeting:

Certain bloggers were once singled out as bomb-throwers, but now just about everyone in the news racket is blogging or tweeting or trying to entice the gods of Web traffic — which is easier to do when you hit the hot buttons.

Probably the demise of journalism started when the first blog went on line. All of a sudden, some long-haired goateed guy sitting in his basement (like me) can churn out story after story or comment about a story in their local or national newspaper or on their local or national newscast at a moment’s notice.

The blogger can write things or ask things that journalism students learned were not appropriate in their first year of college. Continue reading