Monday, March 30, 2009

Fox Nation: Needed Change in Media or a Compromise in Objectivity?

Today Fox News announced its long awaited and new "TheFoxNation.com." With a great deal of fanfare the network has had a huge advertising campaign and has all of its network personalities referring to it at every opportunity.

On the surface, TheFoxNation.com looks like many other websites. I do like how it fuses Fox News with its Fox Business site and there is no question that such will help to bolster the visibility of the latter. Also, I love how it has articles from various news sources, rather than just content produced by Fox directly. (However, some of the affiliated media is from companies owned or closely linked to Fox parent company, News Corp, such as the New York Post). Visually this news portal is very easy to read, navigate, and to find content. Furthermore it is exhaustive in its reach covering virtually every area of news, business and lifestyle.

However, TheFoxNation.com is designed to be more than just another TV network website. According to its purpose statement, much more. The site states that the "Fox Nation was created for people who believe in the United States of America and its ideals, as expressed in the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Emancipation Proclamation.
It is a community that believes in the American Dream: Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. One that believes being an American is an honor, as well as a great responsibility—and a wonderful adventure." It always amazes me that the most pro-American major news network is owned by a person born in another country (Rupert Murdoch is from Australia). This statement goes beyond the typical scope of a news network.

The site goes on to say that "this is a place for people who believe we live in a great country, a welcoming refuge for legal immigrants who want to contribute their talent and abilities to make our way of life even greater. We believe we should enjoy the company and support of each other, delighting in the creativity, ingenuity, and work ethic of one and all, while observing the basic rules of civility and mutual respect and, most importantly, strengthening our diverse society by striving for unity." This sounds more like a conservative social networking site, than the content of a news media. This is the kind of statement that will attract criticism from those in the mainstream media. We are told that "taking sides" may be patriotic, but it may compromise objectivity.

Finally the site states that "the Fox Nation is for those committed to the core principles of tolerance, open debate, civil discourse--and fair and balanced coverage of the news. It is for those opposed to intolerance, excessive government control of our lives, and attempts to monopolize opinion or suppress freedom of thought, expression, and worship. We invite all Americans who share these values to join us here at Fox Nation." Again, not what you expect to find from a media website. But, then again, maybe it should be.

Currently the mainstream media behaves as though it hates this country. It seems far more fond of models being promoted by Europe and other parts of the world than that of the US. Many traditional media sites claim objectivity, while plowing us over with agendas and hostility towards the values that have made this nation the most prosperous and free in the history of the world. A great example was the recent election for President in which the media didn't merely witness history, but created it.

I have been involved in journalism since the 80s, working with both publications and as a radio personality, so this approach to broadcast journalism even makes me a little uncomfortable. However, Fox Nation is being refreshingly honest. That network is made up of people that make a living conveying news and information. They want to continue to do that without government interference. Fox is a business, not just a news sources, and it wants to be able to stay profitable and not be crushed by a government out of control. Fox is made up of individuals who have families and they want to make sure that their spouses and children live in a country that is continually improving. The bottom line is that Fox Nation recognizes, above all things, they are Americans first and journalists second. That may be the perfect role of media in a time such as this.

Kevin Price is Host of the Price of Business, the longest running show on CNN 650 (M-F at 11 am), AOL Radio, and CBS Radio. Eric Bolling of Fox News and Fox Business says that Price’s Blog “is very influential and moves the blogosphere.” Steve Moore of the Wall Street Journal calls Price the “best business talk show host in the country.” Find out why and visit his blog at www.BizPlusBlog.com and his show site at www.PriceofBusiness.com.

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