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Showing posts from February, 2017

When is it time to deny media access and coverage?

Journalists and news organizations in the U.S. and elsewhere are increasingly wrestling with how to deal with alternative facts, untruths, and lies spread by political figures, government officials, and their supporters. These are not merely moral issues for journalists, but also will influence the sustainability of news organizations. Neither accurately reporting false statements, nor reporting and challenging them, are adequate responses to continual misuse of the media and deliberate efforts to use the media to mislead the public. This, of courses, raises the thorny question of when to deny media access and coverage to individuals noted for engaging in those acts. How they are handled depends upon their position. Elected officials should be treated differently than their advisors, aides, and supportive commentators and apologists. This occurs because elected officials and party leaders are accountable to the public through the ballot box, whereas others are not. When elected official…