At Outlaw News, we are critical of the mainstream press. We feel that its corporate ties are affecting the quality of journalism being published and, as such, is affecting the quality of information being brought to the public’s consciousness.
So, how would we define good journalism? To examine this we need to strip the media back to its origins: medieval town criers with a duty to inform the public of decisions being taken by the elite that would affect the general population.
This was certainly not a positive model for modern journalism to be built upon. It places the journalist, not in the role of truth-seeker and truth-teller, but merely as a puppet of the establishment. Unfortunately, this remains unchanged to this day.
This is why we need to re-evaluate what we require from journalists. The values that we are led to believe that journalists adhere to are:
• Impartial and fair reporting of the facts
• A duty to reveal and communicate the truth
• Verification of sources
• A moral allegiance to the public
These are the four pillars upon which good journalism should be built: neglecting fairness results in propaganda; neglecting to communicate the truth results in lies; neglecting to verify sources is untrustworthy; manipulating the public in the name of a good story is biting the hand that both needs and feeds you, in turn.
Journalism must always strive for these principals even in the face of pressure from above in the form of deadlines or direction, or the stories that are written become worthless.