Need it be said that U.S. professional societies impacting public opinion have special social responsibilities?
Yes, because right now Americans across the country are increasingly being presented with scripted right-wing propaganda as “news” https://bit.ly/2uFNVJ1.
Sinclair Broadcasting Company, owner of a vast national network of radio and television stations, has mandated that news directors at these stations repeatedly deliver a scripted screed on alleged “fake news” in legacy media. Arguably, the news directors are contractually obligated to do so even if they have grave professional misgivings.
What can be done to offset this insult to prossional journalism/journalists?
Sinclair no doubt has attempted to include ironclad legal penalties for its news directors courageous enough to risk defiance on the propaganda edict. Nevertheless, it seems that legal organizations dedicated to freedom of the press and employee rights might well examine the relevant contracts for employer and other vulnerabilities.
In the meantime, the confrontation goes on in the public forum. Social media and legacy media may well help build transparency and public awareness with ongoing reporting. However, the beleaguered Sinclair news directors also deserve strong, ongoing support from influential colleagues. One such community: Journalism and related professional societies.
Let the American public hear, pointedly and repeatedly, from the leaders — boards, officers, spokespeople and members — of organizations such as:
Society of Professional Journalists
Freedom of the Press Foundation
Radio, Television News Directors Associations
The Poynter Institute
Deans of Journalism and Mass Communications Schools
Public Relations Society of America
Let Sinclair, and all , news directors be news directors — only.