In my early days as a part-time writer/reporter and religious editor at the Miami Herald, I would sometimes get the unenviable task of investigative reporting.
This type of assignment was unenviable because it required long hours and often put the writer/reporter in difficult circumstances having to ask very personal questions. It also took away from the normal task of simply reporting the religious news of what was going on within the community’s churches.
In time however, this writer would find out that what was really going on within the community’s churches wasn’t the news being released to the public but that’s a separate story for another time.
This occurred at a time when religion was in the news “big time”; especially for the Catholic Church and TV evangelist. Roman Catholic priest were being accused of sexually abusing children, teens and young women almost daily throughout the country and rumors of scandalous sex and fraudulent financial transactions from nationally known televangelist were weekly headlines.
The Miami/Fort Lauderdale area at that time was home to at least two nationally televised TV pastors and home of one of the largest Catholic diocese in the nation. It contained not only hundreds of Catholic churches but a Catholic seminary, convent and Catholic retreat center as well. Like any good newspaper back in the day, my paper could smell a story brewing and obviously hoped for the ever cherished, “hot lead”.
We did discover things; things that were nearly unspeakable back then within both the Catholic Church and other churches as well. We also discovered that rumors associated with televangelist in the area were totally false. The two men and their churches turned out to be genuine as well as financially stable and accountable.
The point to this article is that things are seldom as they seem which is why real investigative reporting is essential. Unfortunately not much genuine investigative reporting is done today. Every so called journalist/reporter is looking for fame and a path to financial fortune and it appears obvious from what we see in print, broadcast or internet media, they’re willing to say and do anything to get there; even if they have to make it up.
What is being reported in today’s mainstream media isn’t news; in fact much is not real and not even worth being reported.
All too often, the media is attempting to manipulate the public while in many cases being manipulated themselves by personal bias, political agendas, ability to get interviews, subscriber counts or readers, ratings and advertisers (or lack the thereof).
The bottom line is, “What you read, see or hear is not necessarily what you get” in today’s news media.
Back in the day as they say, it was me, a note pad, pencil, 35mm or Polaroid camera and a typewriter.
If I screwed up, I was to blame for content, copy, photos, credits and everything. I did it all.
What many people don’t know about today’s news reporting, is that due to downsizing in mainstream
news organizations as well as operational and production cost, a lot of the content we the readers/viewers get is “out sourced” from “freelancers” just like me. That’s right, several pieces I have written over the years have been picked up by mainstream news outlets and sold as their own without my name on it as part of a financial agreement as a sub-contractor. There are tens of thousands of us out there doing exactly the same thing.
Everything from reporting (including investigating), photographs, writing, video recording, initial editing, polling, statistical information, graphics and much more come from people that don’t even work for your favorite news or network source.
There in, is part of the problem, not everything used is always confirmed and validated. To the editor in chief, producer, etc. it is more important to be first and fantastic than well researched and right.
This is why seldom is everything completely or truthfully revealed to the public in a news report.
President Trump realized this early on in his campaign and recognized “Fake News” for what it is.
Part II of Seldom is everything revealed continues in the next edition of The Outlaw Observer and Opinion.
© 2018 The Outlaw Observer and Opinion