Opinion 2008 ….

Posted on October 30, 2008. Filed under: Everyday Me | Tags: , , , , , , |

Clearly it goes without say that the media has a very huge hand in making or breaking elections for candidates. Ever since the campaigns were televised the media has been important, and even before that. Yesterday I read that a small paper in New Mexico has already called the election to Obama – this is deceiving. They are realyl just stating that they predict that Obama will win and their reasons for believing this. It is interesting for a paper to throw their votes about a week prior to the election, especially  since we all know what happened with Truman V. Dewey. Seriously though, there are implications that occur from the media throwing suport to candidates.

Further when I was reading the paper last night (Washington Post) I was intrigued by the Post’s indication that Obama has many more positive articles and news pieces written about him than McCain. This was somewhat expected since the current President, Republican, has an extremely low approval rating, but it was surprising to really comprehend that it was true, that more negative articles/information is put out about John McCain. I have always found that Democrats are more passionate about vocally supporting their candidates so I expected Obama to have more of a stir surrounding him.  I am not a Republican or Democrat – I research the issues and candidates and vote for the candidate that will best represent the country. In newspapers I am for fair-reporting and ethical conduct.

I was surprised last year when the New York Times openly announced their support for Hilary Clinton. Now a newspaper in Alaska (which must really burn Palin) has announced support of Senator Obama, but how can papers publicly support a candidate? I feel that by throwing favor for one candidate over another truly jeopardizes fair reporting ability. Are journalists for the paper purposely altering their ethical news reporting to print more positive stories about one candidate and more negatives about another? This baffles me. Throughout college ethics was impressed upon me both during my time as an Undergrad and when I entered the ‘Real World’, but now it seems that the real world is allowed to choose favorites and pick sides. Again, as an undergrad on the school paper, a fellow writer was chastised for reviewing a band in an article that he happened to be Facebook friends with – he only briefly had met a member of that band through class and became Facebook friends. Even calling them ‘friends’ was a stretch but this was deemed by our editor to be unethical, so how are the editors of these papers not finding it unethical to overtly throw support to one candidate over another?

In the Post and other papers around Washington DC I was able to read about the type of cabinet that Obama will choose as President as well as who would be good in the Senate for him and congress as well. Since the election is not over until 5 days from now I was a little shocked to not see the same things written for McCain. As of now, even though Obama is leading in the polls, neither are President and neither is more of a shoe-in than another. Last election it was highly thought that Kerry would win, yet Bush was reelected, and everyone remembers Truman. McCain may be down but I don’t think it is particularly fair of the media to be completely counting him out and calling the election before the public gets to vote – unless the Media knows something we don’t. I am still an undecided voter – I would like to know more about issues still, and about their rallies and their ways of motivating their public to vote for them. If I am to read about Obama’s possible cabinet, I would also like to read about McCain’s possible cabinet and who would be likely to be in the Senate with BOTH candidates. There are still 2 people in this race, and just because the media has made their vote, I have not made mine and I want fair,honest and ethical news reporting to HELP the public like myself who has still not chosen, not one-sided stories that clearly sway the public into voting their way.

As an un-decided voter it is important that I read multiple news sources and regularly cross-reference sources. This is the only way for me to weed out the biases fed to me through ‘reliable’ news sources and find out what really matters and what is at the heart of both campaigns.

Don’t forget to get out and VOTE on Tuesday November 4 – this is the chance to voice your opinion and make it count. Every vote counts, don’t let others speak for you, and if you are wary about lines for the polls – bring a friend and chat while you wait.

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