The Poynter Institute has collaborated with a group of “fact-checkers” to come up with a list of “unreliable” websites, and you are currently reading one of them!
Poynter is the self-styled authority in journalism, and the Institute itself is a journalism school located in Florida. Going through journalism school, my fellow students and I were referred to Poynter a lot by our professors, and if you have a critical eye, you’ll quickly learn that Poynter is as biased as every other journalism outlet there is.
Sadly, RedState only qualifies as “clickbait” on Poynter’s new UnNews list, meaning we really have to up our game to compete with our sister site, PJ Media, who is labeled unreliable because of “bias.” It will probably come as a shock to you all that we are not “biased,” but if anything that probably adds to our legitimacy! So thanks, Poynter!
All kidding aside, the media has spent many moons decrying “attacks” against journalism, but they are perfectly fine launching attacks against websites that have an ideological bent (especially one different from theirs), no matter the amount of legitimate coverage that site does in the news world. Sites like RedState, PJ Media, and others do have actual reporting going on, and while it’s not as much reporting as other sites may have, it’s still not enough to say that some bias makes you fake news.
I’ve been doing some editing here for a while now. I’ve pulled down stories I thought went too far and I’ve edited headlines I thought were over the top. We’re not an operation that tries to drag you in for nothing. There is a purpose behind what we write. Are we perfect? God no. Neither are any of the other “legitimate” news sites out there. We just catch flack because we’re not mainstream and we have a political ideology behind what we do.
The Daily Caller and the Washington Free Beacon are also on this list. Are they of a conservative bent? Absolutely. Does that make them less legitimate? Of course not. Especially when you have the New York Times running anti-semitic cartoons and then replacing them with more anti-semitic cartoons, BuzzFeed running stories that should be fully retracted for their wild inaccuracies, and CNN continuing to push a White House reporter despite that reporter’s very obvious compulsive need to be on camera fighting the White House rather than reporting on it.
But, no, we have to make sure Drudge, which doesn’t even create its own content and often sources “legitimate” news outlets, is listed as unreliable.
The media’s big narrative in the “Trump vs. Press” war is that they are the last beacon of democracy in America. The Republican Party has elected a man who is a tyrant and wants to destroy the press, and therefore they must fight.
Except, democracy isn’t a term that refers to the press at all. Democracy is the exercise of participating in government by all citizens. It is about everyone having a voice. When you have more media outlets – be they RedState, PJ Media, The Daily Caller, Free Beacon, and Washington Examiner and even Daily Kos (yes, Daily Kos is on Poynter’s list!) – out there, reporting and getting people involved with politics through the act of presenting information, you have more democracy.
So, members of more “mainstream” media will point at places like us and dismiss us because we aren’t “real news.” Instead, they will put us on a list along with David Duke’s website and InfoWars and RT. Our ideology is akin to conspiracy theories and Russian propaganda to them.
It’s not democracy to tell people that a certain website doesn’t count because it has a driving political ideology. It is a democracy when you let people have their voice and use it to participate freely.
If you disagree with us, prove us wrong. Don’t belittle us the way Trump belittles you.