Hamel: The role of media and its loyalty to public service


Columnist Peyton Hamel argues that we need media for a multitude of reasons. Hamel writes that the media’s job is to inform the public so that the people can then make an educated and informed decisions.

Peyton Hamel

Media is a servant leader to society, serving and protecting the public through informative news articles and columns. Media interfaces possess the ability to be the voices of reason. How we know what we know in the ways that we know it and why we know it as we do is strictly because of how the media portrays the subject at hand.

The media serves two functions and two functions only: 1) to inform the public of accurate and raw information concerning news, politics and other subjects important to their lifestyles and 2) to direct the people toward a possible and reasonable course of action (to know what to do with this information). 

It’s a shame, though, that most people do not trust media at all. According to Deadline, “one poll found that 62% of U.S. adults believe that the news they see in newspaper, on elevation or hear on the radio is biased and that 44% says it’s inaccurate.” Yes, it is true that in the past the media has been abused to benefit an organization for political engagement. The stigma following censorship within the media sustains its position to this day. This is true globally. In Ukraine, “paid-for journalism is routinely used by politicians at election time.” 

The bottom-line is this: we need media. We need media for democracy. We need media for information. We need media for a flat-line basis for action. Abusers of media are neglecting their very duty in serving the people, by the people and for the people. They misuse their influence and, in turn, advance negative events in society by supporting an angle that may not exist or an angle that will not righteously inform the people. It is important to acknowledge, however, that the majority of newspapers and other media platforms do not employ ‘fake news’. The small amount of newspapers that do squabble the reputation of the many. 

I believe in the importance of discussion, especially that of controversial discussion. Media should pose all sides of a viewpoint to ignite a conversation. Consider media to be the oxygen to a fire; keeping it alive, breathing and spreading. There is no better way to talk about a solution than forcing people to talk about it. If we, as media influencers, force a controversial conversation, then we are doing our job. If you ever need a source of entertainment, find a political-based column and look at the comments.

We are educators. We are public service leaders. We are forcing the talk. We are allowing the people to discuss and think about an issue that impacts certain socioeconomic groups or the population as a whole. Everyone should be engaged in the media, evaluating and analyzing its findings so that you, yourself, can make an educated decision. You deserve to know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

The only way society can function is if two events take place concurrently: the media informs and directs the people, while the people take advantage of the media to make educated, informed decisions. Engage in controversy and take advantage of the power of knowing.