News trustworthiness

gone since Cronkite days

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

My earliest recollection of a significant newsworthy event was the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. I remember that it seemed liked the whole world mourned; it affected everyone, no matter what one's political affiliation.

Watching CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite, with his often-stoic delivery, somehow helped us through this crisis. We trusted him because he seemed sincere and cared about how America would receive the news of things going on in the world around us. The Vietnam War, Apollo 13, Watergate — we were confident that Cronkite was giving it to us straight. I was lucky to grow up in a household with parents who taught me to look at a situation, use the information available to me and, using my own common sense, draw my own conclusion about what was true or not. Back then, TV news and Cronkite were a trusted source. Sadly, those days are gone.

Today, when I turn on the TV to CNN, MSNBC, HLN and Fox News, I can’t help but feel that everything you hear is a lie. I am left wondering more about the integrity of the news operations and whether ratings trump honest news reporting. Just about every time, ratings win out. The print media isn’t much better. I can read or watch different reports on a single new event and wonder if the reporters were even at the same event. What’s more, political parties have co-opted and exploited these spin machines for their own gain.

So, I have to take what I know to be true, what I’ve learned from history, frame it in my sense of morals and trust my gut that what I know is true. I fear that the last couple of generations will not be able to do that. God help us all.

Jeff Martin.

Blue Ridge.

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