Bernie Sanders: Modern Media a Threat to Democracy
August 28, 2019 | by James G. Dalton
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., ripped the modern media and said “gossip, punditry and clickbait” dominate today’s news.
The comments from the Democratic presidential hopeful came in a column for the Columbia Journalism Review, posted on Monday.
“When we have had real journalism, we have seen crimes like Watergate exposed and confronted, leading to anti-corruption reforms,” he said. “When we have lacked real journalism, we have seen crimes like mortgage fraud go unnoticed and unpunished, leading to a devastating financial crisis that destroyed millions of Americans’ lives.”
He said one of the reasons the U.S. does not have enough real journalism right now “is because many outlets are being gutted by the same forces of greed that are pillaging our economy.”
“Over the past 15 years, more than 1,400 communities across the country have lost newspapers, which are the outlets local television, radio, and digital news sites rely on for reporting,” Sanders wrote.
“At precisely the moment when we need more reporters covering the healthcare crisis, the climate emergency, and economic inequality, we have television pundits paid tens of millions of dollars to pontificate about frivolous political gossip, as local news outlets are eviscerated.”
He said America needs to “rebuild and protect a diverse and truly independent press.”
Sanders maintained “a functioning democracy” requires allowing real journalists to do the job they love.
“When I am president, my administration will put in place policies that will reform the media industry and better protect independent journalism at both the local and national levels,” he said.