The modern media need to move beyond expected narratives and do actual reporting.
During my senior year of college at Michigan State, I was part of Capital News Service, a program run by the School of Journalism. Students were the reporters at the state capitol for small newspapers around the state of Michigan. I was assigned to a newspaper in a town between Detroit and Toledo.
It was late in the spring, school was nearly out and I needed to get a story out. I thumbed through the press releases that we received from various nonprofits for story ideas and stumbled upon one from the state chapter of the National Rifle Association. I called up the contact person and talked to them about a proposed law they wanted to be passed. It sounded innocuous enough to me, so I chatted with the person and wrote the story, and turned it in.
A few days later I one of the teachers of the class came to me with a gentle chastisement. While the story might have been factually true, I only got the one side of the story from the NRA. With an issue as fraught as gun control, I needed to get another viewpoint on the matter instead of being the unintentional spokesperson for the gun-rights group.
What it boiled down to is that I didn’t do my homework. I was in a rush and wanted to get a story done. But the result was a poorly sourced story on an important issue. In my rush to get the story done, I wound up supporting a certain narrative.