Justin Lalputan, Staff Writer

The American media has changed from what it used to be. The American media used to play a watchdog role, being there for the people and giving the people access to information that they wouldn’t otherwise have. From what I see in today’s media, there is almost nothing that resembles that.

First, I have to address the fact that media is changing. Newspapers used to be the main source of news — people would pick them up and actually subscribe to them — but now, newspapers are dying. Sure, newspapers like The Washington Post and The New York Times will always stay in business, but they are cultural icons. Most other smaller newspapers are shutting down.

However, this doesn’t mean that the role of the media has to change. With the advent of the Internet, the popularity of TV media and their integration in our society, the media should be even closer to the people and people should be well-informed about current issues. Sadly, this is not the case.

I turn on the TV and, the majority of the time, I am greeted with biased news, not even in an editorial section, but in the actual news. There should never be a time when two news stations look at the same event and report that two different things are happening. Again, I don’t mean this in an editorial sense — I’m talking about news.

Take the tea party that was held recently in protest of paying taxes. Some news stations considered it a proud movement of red-blooded Americans, while others considered it to be unpatriotic. I don’t watch the news to be told what to think or feel. I watch it to learn the facts. I don’t care that some people think something is great. I will decide that for myself. All I want to know is how many people there were and what they were doing.

And as far as being a watchdog, I don’t see that happening in our media either. For example, when Obama was elected, we had people who basically worshiped the ground he walked on. For them, he couldn’t do anything wrong even when he messed up, but we also had people who were accusing him of some of the most ridiculous things that I had ever heard of.

Why is it so hard for me to find a place where I can receive simply the facts without all the bias?

Now that’s not to say that there aren’t news sources without bias, because that simply isn’t true. There are a couple of websites and sources that are without bias, but I actually had to look for those. Most people aren’t willing to do that when they can simply turn on their TVs and get what they think is fair and accurate news.

So are there any examples of good news media out there? Well, like I said before, there are, but one example that I think will probably shock people is The Daily Show. Let me explain. Though the show is on Comedy Central and meant to be laughed at, if you actually watch the show, the host Jon Stewart often does a spectacular job of playing a watchdog.

He actively criticizes both liberals and conservatives; this is something that most major media networks seem to miss. And when Stewart does an interview, even though he does tend to have a liberal bias, he still grills the majority of his guests and, in most instances, does it better than most major media outlets.

The media is supposed to help the people with information, not confuse them with bias. Half the time when they do report on something, it’s something insignificant.

It seems that major news outlets would rather report on what the first lady is wearing than make an informed report about the horrific conditions that many people in Peru suffer through due to the drug trade that people in the United States help fund.

The media needs to change, and they need to change soon. Knowledge is power, and right now the media isn’t giving the people very much.