With all of the divisive and false information being communicated, the public needs Real Advocacy Journalism today more than ever. There is a growing, if not urgent, need to understand the difference between the advocacy journalism being practiced today and Real Advocacy Journalism™. More importantly, we all need to readily recognize when one or the other is at play in trying to influence public opinion, or urge a hopeful, trusting public to take a particular action.
What is the difference between advocacy journalism as it is practiced today and Real Advocacy Journalism™? Much of the advocacy journalism occurring is partisan, biased, and often blurs the lines between truth and lies, facts and fiction, and often presents fake news as real news. The purpose and objectives of this advocacy journalism constitute propaganda to gain public support for the interest and agenda of a few, a special interest group, or a small constituency rather than for the good of the majority. The public needs Real Advocacy Journalism today to put America back on the right course.
Complex local, regional, national, and global issues are often covered and treated with a biased and simplistic categorization. This happens all too frequently when the public is asked to form an opinion or support an action. Another major reason why the public needs Real Advocacy Journalism today. Historically, and currently, this occurs in issue areas such as: should we go to war or support a war; what is the appropriate health care policy for the majority of citizens; how can gun violence be curbed; what are the distinctions between terrorism carried out by a foreign enemy, naturalized citizen, or a naturally-born citizen; is climate change a real threat to civilization or a man-made hoax; and, on and on….The public needs Real Advocacy Journalism today.
A constant barrage of simplistic, distorted, biased, untruthful, non-factual treatments of issues can only be a disservice to a dependent, hopeful, ill-informed, trusting public. The public needs Real Advocacy Journalism today more than ever. This is the subject of my new book, Shaping Public Opinion: How Real Advocacy Journalism ™ Should Be Practiced, which I hope will serve as a guiding light for those who are concerned about the trajectory of American political discourse.