I am writing in support of mainstream media and journalists. I have seen polls that claim 45 percent of people surveyed have “hardly any confidence in the media.” This is a highly disconcerting statistic. Our democracy relies heavily on a free press to expose corruption and attacks on our government institutions. It is imperative people believe mainstream media reports, even if they don’t agree with the reporting.

I define “mainstream media” as news organizations with assets necessary to engage in and properly vet original reporting. News reports can be obtained directly from mainstream media organizations, such as NBC, CBS, CNN, The Washington Post and The New York Times, or reporting can be aggregated through downstream news organizations, like the Associated Press.

In a December 2017 interview with Prince Harry, Barrack Obama said, “One of the dangers of the Internet is that people can have entirely different realities. They can be cocooned in information that reinforces their current biases.” I think this is true. Rather than accept information they might not agree with, they seek out news (or opinions) from questionable sources that reinforce personal biases. By closing their mind, they become susceptible to propaganda and being manipulated by people with an agenda.

I urge everyone to support and use mainstream media sources. Always separate news from opinions. Verify sources before reading news. Accept information from mainstream media reporting as true, even if you don’t like what you hear. Do not trust anyone who disparages mainstream media reporting as “liberal media” or “fake news.”

Richard Patterson