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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Is there a democracy in the American press?

Por mayli2017

It is common that the media have a definite editorial line, without a doubt, which is not the same as subjugating their journalists to slogan repeaters. Perhaps this is the consolidation of a trend in which Latin America has a long experience: the transformation of the media into organs for disseminating the official vision, and the use of a sort of national chain as an instrument.

Similarly, the notion of the fourth branch of the State, which is central to the American constitutional tradition, is diluted if the press merges with the Executive. Likewise, the censoring role of the independent press is attenuated, and the fundamental principle of separation and balance of powers is altered. By the way, this is "extremely dangerous for democracy".

The dissemination of false news has become too common in social networks. There is a current trend of irresponsible and partial press articles that plague not only countries such as the United States but extends to other parts of the world. And it is much more alarming when some recognized media publish this same false news without first verifying the facts.Unfortunately, from the feeling of some members of these media, the use of these platforms is done with the marked purpose of spreading their own agendas and controlling what people think.

A rough way, what was previously written was broadcast and heard by the audience of about 200 local television stations in the United States. These stations are owned by the company Sinclair Broadcasting. The text, for its part, an orientation of the executives of the company that the news anchors had to read, does not identify any media or journalist.The script was read extemporarily.

It could have been confusing, but under the presidency of Donald Trump, the expression fake news has an exact meaning and carries an unequivocal message: denigrating the media censors of its management.The president's usual tweet was not long in coming, glorifying Sinclair in this case and disapproving of CNN and NBC.Sinclair, who has always had a fairly conservative editorial line, in the 2016 election made an official agreement with the Trump campaign to provide favorable coverage.

According to declarations made by the president's son-in-law last December, the coverage has been so favorable that a usual segment in his television broadcasts is the comment of Boris Ephsteyn, Trump's former adviser turned into the main political analyst of Sinclair.Currently, the company is awaiting the resolution of the regulatory authority on its proposed purchase of the Tribune Media Group, owner of 42 television stations.

The closeness of the company to the White House points to a rentier behavior, in which the profit of the firms is a function of their ability to access power. If the transaction is approved, Sinclair will reach 70% of the country's households.It is not frequent, especially in the United States, such a degree of closeness between a president and a journalistic environment, and the use of this in an explicit and obvious way to do politics. The fact is really unprecedented. What happened is the closest thing to a national television network that has ever been seen in the country, which is confirmed by Sinclair's geographic coverage map as seen on the company's website.