Jim Friedman was born and raised in Bethlehem but now works in the Philadelphia news media. “I will always be from Bethlehem.”
When local newsrooms can no longer afford to assign journalists to cover public meetings, this is the outcome. Residents read comments filled with a biased agenda on social media, and believe it, then share it.
Some rely on bloggers and citizen journalists, but the trust factor has disappeared.
Who can you trust anymore?
Can I believe you?
What’s your political affiliation, because that matters in your reporting.
Who owns your company?
How much did your corporation give to the GOP?
What’s your race? Religion? Favorite color? Animal?
It all matters when you can’t trust anyone.
An issue at the last City Council meeting and in the last series of posts is what Gadfly called the full-court press put on by the Lehigh Valley Good Neighbors Alliance to stop City Council from defunding the police. The full-court press included radio, social media, a brochure, conversations, etc. The full-court press stirred a lot of panicky activity that turned out to be unnecessary, though LVGNA saw it as a victory. Jim raises the question of where you get your information these days and how reliable it is. He raises a subject always much on Gadfly’s mind. A lot happened in the City recently, but Gadfly isn’t sure any of it was really covered by the Morning Call. He used to be able to feed off an article by Nicole the morning after a Council meeting. But she’s gone. And — he may be wrong — but Christina Tatu, who took her place on our beat, seems to be absent recently, maybe only temporarily, too. I’ve been looking for articles by her on recent doings. Now maybe Sara at lehighvalleylive is covering us, but for some reason I can’t get into the habit of checking there. But the point is that though newspapers might have their slant, Gadfly is used to trusting them for basic info. But with the new economy in journalism, we aren’t getting that much of that kind of coverage, and people are left with social media like LVGNA’s facebook pages and your ol’ Gadfly. “Who can you trust anymore? Can I believe you?” Gadfly has tried to be a responsible citizen journalist, but “the trust factor has disappeared,” and his name has appeared in the same sentence with “bias” and “unbalanced.” So Gadfly would just like to say that he welcomes a slap upside the head and alternate views in a corrective and constructive mode.