Wedge Issues In Politics and Media

GayMarriageJournalists who advocate for social justice and civil liberty often fall into the categories which define the political divide.  For some, there are causes about which a journalist may be personally and passionately involved, and their coverage may reflect this personal zeal.

In some cases, there are causes which need to be illuminated, to all sides of the political landscape, but unfortunately the passionate partisan language and personal zeal, incorporates the political divide into media coverage, in a way that often does not serve the public good, and in a way which can be manipulated to drive wedge issues home, on topics that concern all of society.

The manipulation of the political divide in media, is best illustrated by browsing news sources that are supportive or critical of establishment policy.  Often these sources will have advertising and editorial geared to wedge issues that will have placement which presents first and foremost the hot button wedge issues that are part of the partisan make up of the journalists, and broad scope issues that need to brought to the attention of the general public, end up submerged beneath content inherently provocative to a non-partisan presentation of issues of particular social concern.

A stellar example would be a progressive news source, addressing corruption in politics, publish content about that corruption side by side with some provocative hot button wedge issue.  The predictable result adds to the insular partisan split, rather than engaging the breadth of socially concerned individuals whose combined attention could bring positive change.

I believe this partisan split in the media needs to be considered, particularly when attempting to bring level attention to issues requiring a broad grassroots social response.  In order for the ‘fourth estate’ to work effectively to monitor the separation of powers in government, it needs to at the very least be cognizant of the editorial impact of wedge issue presentation on pressing social concerns, unrelated to those core wedge issues.

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