WARNING: Your Opinion/Commentary show is NOT news

WARNING: Your Opinion/Commentary show is NOT news

September 1, 2022
Petition to
Interim Executive Director, Society of Professional Journalists Jennifer Royer and
Signatures: 125Next Goal: 200
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Why this petition matters

Started by Eugene McDermott

First, let me begin by stating, THIS IS NOT A PARTISAN POLITICAL PETITION!

It's time we lobby for disclaimers at the start of EVERY OPINION/COMMENTARY SHOW to express what the audience hears is not on the basis of fact. It is CRITICAL we address the blurred lines between NEWS/JOURNALISM and OPINION/COMMENTARY.

As communicators, and more specifically journalists, WE ARE THE UNOFFICIAL 4th BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT. We are taught to PROTECT THE TRUTH on behalf of our democratic society and the global community.

Regardless of field, we study the POWER OF WORDS. Messaging, influence, interpersonal communication, the human psyche as a receiver of messages - we are the experts. We understand how to guide, influence, and change behaviors to drive action (btw... now's not the time to call out my love of the oxford comma).

I STRONGLY believe our skillset is being weaponized. This is not Public Relations... this is a conflation/disregard of truth solely to achieve the objectives of the individual communicator or a networks' bottom line.

As DEFENDERS OF TRUTH, isn't it time we step up? Again, we need disclaimers at the start of EVERY OPINION/COMMENTARY SHOW to remind audiences what they hear may not be on the basis of fact.

Society fought the FCC on ratings warnings. It is time we fight for truth and our profession's Code of Ethics.

Dear Society of Professional Journalists - when I studied Journalism & Media Studies at Rutgers University/Rutgers University School of Communication and Information, your Code of Ethics was HEAVILY embedded in our curriculum. Net Neutrality used to be the hot topic. I often wonder if our modern day skew of truth has replaced that topic. Where are you?

This is a plea. Address the inundation of opinion/commentary on network digital news & television/radio! We're at war mostly because of false narratives, conflated statistics, exaggerated words, and individuals' desire to become famous (All you commentators/political hacks on both sides, THAT IS YOU!)

When people demonstrably disregard TRUTH in this profession, we all have a responsibility, not just as journalists, but more broadly as communicators, to address it.

Please join me and at least sign this petition. This is just the beginning, but we need to get our truth back. 

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Signatures: 125Next Goal: 200
Support now