Journalism, Trump & Clinton

14955973_10202448156722240_3158325062619900533_nBy Becky Holland,

This election will go down in history as one that has been like no other. For the last year, we have dealt with the downright ridiculous, bizarre, erratic and almost meanness of candidates, candidate’s staffers and even supporters of sides.

If you don’t believe me, sign in to your Facebook and look at your newsfeed. Or, hey, I will let you log into mine. Check out all the articles, blogs and other things media outlets – both credentialed and non credentialed (real and not real) have put out to the world in the last 12 months.

The last few weeks have worse than the rest. Most of the negative publicity has appeared to be one-sided. A lot of words have been passed, but no concrete evidence against either candidate really has been brought forward.

Talk about dirty campaigning.

It has almost made me want to turn off my social media accounts … I said almost.  I am human and I am nosy. No matter how much I gripe about the negativity stuff on Facebook – I feed off the junk too.  No denying it.

What makes matters worse – I am one of THOSE who makes her career in the field of journalism – the very field one of the candidates has cursed and even gone so far as to ban certain credentialed and accredited from receiving press credentials for any event the candidate sponsored or hosted.

As a journalist, I take it very seriously to NOT voice my opinion publicly about which candidate I support or what issue I support or don’t. As a journalist, my job is to educate, inform and sometimes, entertain.  My job isn’t to persuade or play favorites or push one side over the other. Even in this article, I talk about one candidate, but that doesn’t mean anything. What I did or voted on is my personal choice and private. I will say, I almost wrote in my dog’s name for President though.

But today, I was astonished by the things I saw on social media. I had to let my voice be heard – even if it was just in typing.

Several friends shared a photo and article on Facebook about Newsweek releasing a magazine before the election declaring Clinton as president. That one picture created a lot of hate messages, nasty words and assumptions/implications toward my chosen livelihood.

Journalism is a business. Big events, sporting, political, and such,incites competition between media outlets just like Christmas incites competition between major retailers. Journalists have deadlines to meet as well. For anyone who has every worked in the journalism world, election nights are the longest nights of our careers, are they not? And we have to rush through to get our stories out before the “other guy” does.

So, an affiliate and licensee of Newsweek magazine went ahead and sent out magazines dedicated to Hillary Clinton  – in case she won. Trump supporters took off with that and proclaimed how unfair it was and started talking about how journalists were evil. In fact, one of Trump’s supporters, at a recent rally, wore a t-shirt implying that journalists need to be strung up.

Those who started the viral photo should have checked his or her facts – or the other boxes at the bookstore. There were magazines with Trump on the cover too.

And if they had pursued it even further, they would have seen that all media outlets, even television shows, always have TWO sides prepared for just in case. When the Cubbies won, there were duplicates of magazines, newspaper front pages and such made – one with Cubbies all over it and the other with their opponents’ on the covers.

Should journalism – the career that I have dreamed of being a part of since I was four years old  and enjoyed for 21 years – be struck with a black mark because well, the entities are just doing what they need to to make a living? (Even though I don’t always agree with what my fellow journalists do.)

Whomever wins tomorrow will have an impact on history – not just because he or she will be President, but also because of this campaign and the audacity of it. Some of it their staffers may have caused, some of it was stirred up by supporters and some o it was started by media outlets playing toward our need for drama and sensationalism.

Sometimes, I wonder if Ronald McDonald was called names and of is his life was threatened just because he decided to introduce the Big Mac against Burger King’s Whopper?



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