The Catholic University of America

Chad Pecknold, associate professor, theology, wrote about media, politics, and truth for his Washington Examiner column. See below.

The politics of Good Media, Bad Media

From: The Washington Examiner
Date: Feb. 20, 2017
Author: Chad Pecknold


The word "media" describes a mode of intermediate communication between the people and events deemed most worthy of our attention by those in the media. Noble aims have often been associated with the task, telling the truth being the foremost task. Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal recently praised Danny Pearl as a martyr for journalistic integrity. But he praises his colleague to uphold the importance of truth precisely in a climate of frenetic distrust of the class of people we also call "the media." The mode of mediation, now mostly digital, and the members of this class, are also sometimes called "the press." The convergence of these words themselves — media, press, politics, truth — should remind us that we are in the midst of a revolution in communication we have not seen since the advent of the printing press.

It's obvious, or it should be, that our "media crisis" is inseparable from our "political crisis." We might ask: "Why is the president, an office holder of one of three co-equal branches of the federal government, calling the media 'out of control'? Why are senators and congressman lined up outside cable news green rooms on North Capitol Street for much of the year? Why buy national ads to promote a perfectly qualified and admirable nominee for the Supreme Court?" The blue-checked class on Twitter is dominated by journalists and politicians. Our political life is now inseparable from the media. ...


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