According to a recent Reuters poll, the U.S. ranks last out of 46 countries in media trust. In a country protected by the First Amendment, one would hope that an open and free media would be the envy of the world.

For many years, the U.S. ranked high internationally in media trust. The New York Times, with its motto, “All the news that’s fit to print,” was the journalistic standard. Now, the Times announced that it is scrapping its op-ed page and replacing it with “guest essays.” According to Times editor Kathleen Kingsbury, the editors will place their “thumb on our scale in the name of progress, fairness, and shared humanity.”

In my opinion, this means they will be sharing pieces that only fit a certain narrative rather than offering opposing viewpoints.

I feel that today’s journalism is primarily concerned with tarnishing their opponent. From the Russian collusion saga and the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic to the right’s relentless pursuit of a rigged 2020 election, it’s become more tabloid-style reporting.

Additionally, these former well-respected news organizations are making repeat errors (factual context, reporter’s opinion, questionable or untruthful sources). Investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson has a growing list of media mistakes on her website.

Ironically, China was not on the list of the 46 countries polled by Reuters. The country recently forced the closure of Apple Daily, a pro-democracy newspaper in Hong Kong.

For the good of our nation, let’s work toward restoring trust in our media rather than the alternative.

Kevin Landry, Lewiston

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