Letter from the Editor: Media’s Role in Maintaining a Standard of Leadership
Danny Fisher / Editor-in-Chief
With the election of the next president of the United States a little more than a year away, to say that journalists and other media workers do not have a certain amount of power over how potential voters perceive the candidates in any given political race would be to turn a cold shoulder to an important truth. It is our responsibility to accurately represent those men and women who seek to represent America; to ask them difficult questions and allow them an opportunity to earn the votes and support of American citizens.
And, it is our duty to be discriminating in what we choose to emphasize.
Focusing on the few candidates that say the most bizarre things might be what is best to increase web traffic, but it isn’t what is best to ensure that those who will be casting their vote for the next commander in chief have a strong base of knowledge on which to make their decision. In fact, it serves best of all to lower our standards concerning the quality of character of our nation’s next leader.
Goading presidential hopefuls from any party to respond to the character and unpolitical comments of a singular candidate serves to narrow the frame in which they interact to include nothing of substance. Ignoring national issues in favor of pointing out rude statements about a woman’s appearance or a man’s wife entraps those candidates who have spent time developing strategies and policies to better serve the American people within the mudpen one man has built for himself.
We are doing ourselves a disservice by encouraging quality men and women to stoop to the level of an outlier. By allowing one man’s blather to overpower a discussion that may otherwise be intelligent and gracious, media is lowering the American standard of leadership.
As an aspiring journalist, I am ashamed that so many in my field have allowed this degradation to persist. As a citizen, and consumer of media, I am infuriated that news networks think this is what we want; that they think us so shortsighted and shallow as to allow our future leader to be defined in terms of how petty a catfight he or she can be chided into. We deserve to be informed – not pandered to.
We must hold media to a higher standard, so that we may hold our next president to a higher standard. We have to focus on those who are great, in order to preserve our status as a great nation.