The news media, or the Fourth Estate, which serves to check on government’s doing and defend democracy, has a tremendous responsibility to dig into corners of the society that others normally wouldn’t. As the movie All the President’s Men portrayed, journalists would risk their lives to investigate into secrets that have the potential to shake the nation top-down.
The infamous Watergate scandal exposed by the Washington Post led to president Richard Nixon’s resignation; it was a victory of the press and the Post deserves commendation. The feud between the government and the press has never really ebbed; the former would always try to hide from the latter’s scrutiny. It seems almost every major press and news network focuses solely on the government when it comes to investigative reporting—which is not wrong, but in hindsight of the past election, should we ask ourselves why haven’t the press—the people’s watchdog—put more effort in revealing what people on the other end of the spectrum were really going through? In other words, did the press spend so much time dancing with the government that it just hermetically sealed itself in a lunar bubble in which worldly matters weigh less? You know, the moon has less gravity.
If America was a huge yard, then the press—the watchdog—is only guarding the front door, leaving almost every other entrance wide-open. Great journalists are required to have sources, they need to know every major player in town. What those people do, what they think, even where they went for dinner and what entree they ordered (Donald J. Trump dismissed his press pool at dinner and everybody loses their minds; ordinary people don’t have money for hot meals and nobody knows), and unfortunately most of these people live the same hermetic bubble. The 2016 election was a wake-up call for the press and all media. America is not just the few cities scattered along the coast, it is coast to coast.
Just imagined how momentous it would have been had the New York Times or the Washington Post published an article that reads: Every Poll is Wrong, Clinton Needs to Readjust Her Strategy.