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The printed press is as popular as ever plus with their reach online we should never underestimate the power of the press, yet with that power too many newspapers are using it to spread fear using lies and extensions of the truth. They have a duty to serve and protect this country but yet all they do is spread animosity, yes current situations causing great pressure amongst the profession of journalism and of course truth is very important, however surely creating fear and anger just to sell is counter-productive in the long term for themselves?
April 27th 1961, JFK spoke to the press and he talked about “common responsibilities in the face of a common danger”, of course at the time he was talking about the cold war and the enemy has changed except the sentiments surely have not changed? The press must take responsibility in what it publishes and certain newspapers use the platform to publish stories, that create more danger and hate within our own country and they use their platform to attack politicians on their beliefs, not their actions. Every editor and publisher should re-examine their own standards because the reasons why they became journalists in the first place, have surely been replaced with bitterness and anger towards the world as they have gotten older.
There is a clear and present danger that the press have too much control and power over the thought process of the citizens of this country, there are too many that rely too heavily on what is printed in the newspapers, even though a lot of people claim that they don’t like newspapers because all the print is bad news. Yet they read them and assimilate the bitterness as well as anger that emanates from the writing of certain journalists and newspapers, which is why newspapers bare a heavy burden to print the truth and don’t mask the mistakes that are made by the government and people alike. With this sentiment they absolutely must also take responsibility to not print ‘facts’ and create a sentiment of hate amongst the citizens of this country, this is exactly what the common enemy is trying to do.
“It requires a change in outlook, a change in tactics, a change in missions--by the government, by the people, by every businessman or labor leader, and by every newspaper. For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence--on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations.
Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed. It conducts the Cold War, in short, with a war-time discipline no democracy would ever hope or wish to match.”
– John F. Kennedy, President and the Press Speech, April 27th, 1961
There are many parallels with then and now, many similar circumstances we find ourselves in where we seem to ignore history and create these vengeful ideas that we assume will be the correct course of action without truly considering the consequences, with help of the press these dangerous ideas are passed onto the next generation and the sentiments of what he says are true today as they were then, the press and the media must make a change of outlook and tactics to help create a more peaceful society for everyone to live in, not just those lucky few with a lot of money.
Our way of life is not the only one at risk within this world, there are many nations and states across the world that want peace, but much like ourselves we listen to the press who print hate filled stories with a complete disregard to the truth, so that they can make more money. War is one of the most effective business and money making tools around the world, it has nothing to do with peace and prosperity for a global society.
“To that world assembly of sovereign states, the United Nations, our last best hope in an age where the instruments of war have far outpaced the instruments of peace, we renew our pledge of support--to prevent it from becoming merely a forum for invective--to strengthen its shield of the new and the weak--and to enlarge the area in which its writ may run.”
– John F. Kennedy, Inaugural address, January 20th, 1961.