I saw this article on a fellow journalists Facebook page and the headline grabbed me right away... "Why I left 60 minutes."
I myself have been tempted to write about the last 11 years I was in print, radio, and television journalism; and why after leaving it... I really don't miss it as much as I thought I would.
This particular article though, featured in Politico this week, was written by Charles Lewis, a former ABC News and 60 Minutes producer. In this quick, yet interesting read, he explains how networks (ABC specifically) claim they are "all about uncovering the truth" and digging to expose corruption, but in reality, that's not what he saw. He talks of how the main objections to his stories came from his bosses and superiors...who often would challenge investigative pieces that shinned a bad light on their friends or associates.
On the local level, I feel this is even worse and more apparent. Over the last 11 years I worked in journalism, I have faced this more times than I can count. From local newspapers forcing me to by-pass "real news" to cover an event an advertiser is hosting, to television stations not letting me include portions of interviews because it makes their advertisers look bad. I have been called in bosses offices more than once to have a "talk" about the story I am working on, so they could make sure their advertisers or friends did not look poor in the feature.
Now, for those of you who know me, I am not one to go down without a fight. Often times I would fight, argue my point and stand up for real journalism and sometimes it would work...other times not. Shamefully, I admit, I didn't have gumption to quit my job, like Charles Lewis did, but I did put up a good fight for what I thought was right.
The sad reality is, I have worked for several weekly and daily newspapers, as well as television stations and I have experienced this or witnessed this at every single one. It's the unfortunate reality of a business that relies on advertising dollars to stay in business.
Huge conflict of interest, but vastly ignored.
What's the solution? I don't know. But unfortunately after you have become aware of this and dealt with it first hand, it becomes nearly impossible to watch local news, or pick up a paper and not think there are ulterior motives and alternate truths.
HERE is another link to the article. Have a read.
Hello friends! I am Lisa. Lover of Christ and family, a former television reporter, and a wife and mom who strives to live a healthy, toxic free lifestyle.