I join many others in this country, with this raucous election finally over, urging that a first order of business be to restore the media to the traditional role of a robust independent press. I had the experience of running for office over 35 years ago when the press not only aggressively covered elections but they almost served as an auditor of the campaigns.
I can still remember going into my Miami Herald Editorial Board interview and Editor John McMullen barked hard hitting, challenging questions. That endorsement was hard earned and very valuable in a mega city like Miami. Herald Reporters then, like Bob Shaw and Tom Fiedler were both smart and tenacious. In a word, I was intimated by the press. We may not need to get that far back to the traditional model, but Tweets will not cut it as a replacement for news and editorial distribution.
I propose we throw back at the technology mavens the need to create a new business model for the media, to replace the omnipresent social media that they created--which has become a substitute for a vigilant and credible press. Perhaps there should be different levels of press coverage--at one end, the pristine, independent, hard hitting coverage to the other end that might feature unsubstantiated social posts. I don't propose any governmental involvement other than it's customary protection of the public's right to know about it's government. Ideally, the more independent and robust the press, the greater the demand for that product. A special focus needs to occur on cyber attacking of media content by foreign governments, especially Putin and the Russians.
The press has a long history of protecting the public's right to know in a Democracy. Perhaps it is time for us to now protect a vigilant press from extinction.