The political media have only one vital role to play in any nation: protect individual rights.
That's it. Nothing else they do is absolutely necessary. Every single important story they report should explicitly or implicitly be connected to individual rights -- the protection of those rights. Any report on global warming or racism or trade or regulations or taxes or anything else should have individual rights as its foundation, its cohesion, its starting point and endpoint.
That is never the case.
Ironically, the media have absolutely no idea what individual rights are. It's like a baker not understanding baking, or a seamstress who's never worked with thread, or a composer who is clueless about what a chord or melody is. The media enjoy mentioning "civil rights" but not individual rights.
As Ayn Rand correctly identified, "rights" are the link between individuals and groups, between one's own life and life in a crowd (society), between morality and action among others.
A right, she said, is "a moral principle defining and sanctioning a man's freedom of action in society". She clarified this concept further: "It means freedom from physical compulsion, coercion or interference by other men".
Rights are the only proper reason for governments to have any existence at all. Without rights, there could be no good reason for government. Government's only job is to protect individual rights -- to one's body, property and freedom of pursuit, to prevent compulsion and coercion.
Properly speaking, governments are granted the conditional privilege to protect individual rights. The "condition" is that if they don't do their job, then they are rightly overthrown or run out of office by the very people they were allowed to protect with physical force, if necessary.
While governments are granted the privilege to use physical force to protect their citizens from those wishing to violate their rights, there is one private institution that should also have as its raison d'être the protection of rights, as I said in my opening paragraph: the political media.
While government has the power of the sword to protect us citizens, the media have the power of the pen, the power of information -- which is, as they say, mightier than the sword. It is information that moves people and governments to do great good or to commit horrible deeds (rights violations).
The media should find and use political information for only one end: to protect rights. "Political information" relates to human action in relation to potential government oversight, such as whether pollution rises to the level of violating property rights or whether racism rises to the level of coercive action against others.
When the media are in the process of protecting rights and are assessing the actions of citizens and governments, they should have in their minds a singular standard: "does this action violate individual rights?"
If they don't have this very clear and objective standard integrated and prominent in their minds, then foul play will be boundless -- resulting in the enormity of rights violations that we now see in modern America and around the world.
Not only does government violate rights openly and egregiously in modern society, but the media are complicit in the violations, often stoking the violations or complaining that the violations are not severe enough (regulations, taxes, minimum wages, entitlements, speech restrictions, gun restrictions, passive diplomacy, redistribution of income, taking of property, etc.).
The pen swings the sword.
The media have become the scribbling predators of individual rights.
They do not understand rights, as is shown in all of their articles in which human action is potentially under the purview of government action. They simply don't understand the rights standard. They are anti-conceptual, anti-objectivity, anti-rights.
They turn private racism (not baking cakes, biased company hiring, screaming obscenities, "hate groups") into an alleged political action under government purview, thereby violating the rights of property and speech. Instead of simply and properly condemning such private action as immoral, the media raise it to coercive action and repeatedly pens material to get the sword swinging, in violation of rights.
They state that CO2 emissions by businesses, ipso facto, are primarily a violation of "the Earth" and secondarily a violation of "civil rights", instead of recognizing that any alleged emissions pertain only to property rights, if at all. If a property owner in America believes his property rights are being violated by alleged "climate change" or pollution, then that property owner already has recourse in a court of law to make his case (which, of course, he cannot, on "climate change").
For the media, poverty is not self-induced. It is caused by capitalism, allegedly making the impoverished qualified to receive "give-backs" by the "privileged" and "greedy" and "one-percent" -- thereby violating the right to property (money) of millions of hard-working Americans.
The media are tinpot intellectual dictators.
They are, of course, people. They are people with a lot of education and very little conceptual integration of objective reality. To call them "intellectuals" is like calling beatniks "responsible". The media are anti-intellectuals, the dilettantes of whimsy and irrationality. What they learned in secondary schooling was how to rationalize their irrationality, their elitism, their desire to control.
They laugh when you tell them that the smallest minority is the individual. They don't recognize individuals. There is only the "social" in their social engineering. There's no room for individual rights; there are only "social rights", what's allegedly the "greater good" -- which means no rights at all.
So instead of being vaunted protectors of individual rights, they have become predators of individual rights, scribbling their diatribes against capitalists and gun owners and constitutionalists. They are Plato's philosopher kings run amuck. They won't leave you alone -- because YOU don't exist. You're just part of the social, of the "greater".
And, as they like to say, there is no "I" in "we".