Journalistic Integrity, Where Has It Gone?

Journalistic integrity, where has it gone? I’ve found myself asking this question over the last few years.Growing up, my dream was to be a writer. As I got older that dream shifted to journalism. I had gotten a taste for it while on the paper staff in high school. The one thing I believed was that everyone has a right to the truth, no matter what. The key to that phrase is “truth”. I could write an article that was fun and powerful but it had to be true, no sensationalism. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted my articles to be entertaining so that the reader would stay engaged, but never at the expense of honest, truthful, facts.

Which brings us to TV personalities like Nancy Grace. I will not insult the name of journalists or reporters by calling her such, she is not. Last nights episode was yet another reminder of why America distrusts the media. It was another glaring example of sensationalistic attention whoring superseding facts and truth. The usual Nancy Grace style, and she’s not the only one. These types of personalities continually replace integrity for sensationalism. Case in point, check out the video below where, just a few weeks ago, CNN was reporting from the same parking lot only a few spaces away and trying to convince us they were in different locations doing a satellite feed.

Need another example? Last night Nancy Grace went on the warpath over the death of wrestler Ultimate Warrior.As any wrestling fan can tell you, Ultimate Warrior has been out of the wrestling business for years and became a motivational speaker with the sole purpose of helping people reach their potential. Did Nancy Grace speak on this? Of course not! All she kept saying was “”rumors of steroid and drug use are swirling” which NO one was reporting.

She had special guest Diamond Dallas Page, whose DDP Yoga is sweeping the nation. Dallas has dedicated his life to helping people and former wrestlers who have struggles to get their lives together. Page went on that show to discuss Warrior and all Nancy Grace could do was bring up drugs and steroids as the cause of Warriors death and alluded to the fact it was the cause of most deaths when it comes to wrestlers dying young. Check out this graphic from her show.

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In this graphic are TWO names that certainly don’t belong; Owen Hart (who died from a tragic fall during a failed stunt) and referee Mark Curtis (who died from stomach cancer). People outside of the industry would naturally assume that those two were steroid and drug users simply because Nancy and her staff are more concerned with sensationalism than factual reporting.

What about the family of Warrior, who legally changed his name from James Hellwig in 1993, and is the last name of his wife and children? Those lovely young girls won’t get to grow up with their father, but did Nancy mention that? Not at all! She was too concerned with “rumors of steroid and drug use are swirling”. Why? Because it draws ratings for her and the truth be damned. Dallas Page even issued an apology stating he regretted ever going on the show because he was led to believe they would be talking about Warrior, the man, and his family.

It’s an embarassment and an insult to the American people who put their faith in these news outlets to get us the truth. The truth is no longer an option. It doesn’t draw the ratings and buzzards like Nancy Grace circle the kill and pick the carcass clean and until the American people start switching off and tuning out then change will never happen. People like the Nancy Graces of the world will continue to sit on their high-horse, snub their nose at journalistic integrity, and continue to shovel crap down our throats.

We no longer can tune in to the likes of Edward R. Murrow, or read the jarring reporting of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, and so many other greats who showed us that the truth mattered and we had a right to know. No longer will we know, as Paul Harvey always said, “the rest of the story”. We are now stuck with this garbage until we demand change and take action.

Journalistic Integrity, where has it gone? Don’t ask Nancy Grace.

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