David Gergen and James Fallows, author of "Breaking the News," discuss what Fallows describes as the deterioration of the Fourth Estate.
The NewsHour mourns the passing of John Chancellor, one of the most beloved journalists in America.
L.A. Times reporter David Shaw talks about cynicism in the media
This month, two of the most distrusted professions -- politicians and reporters -- will gather in San Diego and Chicago for the Republican and Democratic conventions. As the American public watches this spectacle of journalistism and politics, the Online NewsHour asks: Do you trust the media?
The image of the Fourth Estate was recently tarnished by the revelation that Newsweek columnist Joe Klein wrote the satirical novel on the 1992 Clinton campaign, "Primary Colors." Klein had lied to CBS on the air, denying authorship ("It wasn't me; I didn't do it"). His repeated denials led to criticism of his ethics. Klein initially likened his behavior to "lying to protect a source," but later said that things were said that he "tremendously regrets." Many journalists are worried that his deception has damaged the integrity of the press. And many politicians are angry because similar behavior would mean the end of their career.
Joe Klein's transgressions are that latest in a series of events that have tarnished the image of the press.
What do you think? Are reporters right up there on the America's most hated list with lawyers and politicians? What does that mean for Democracy? And what can journalists do to regain the public trust?
A question from Kevin Scherrer of Tokyo, Japan:
I do not believe that a reporter can be 100% objective, because the decision on information to be included in a story is a subjective one in itself. But I think most journalists try to remain as trustworthy as they can because their careers depend on it. Nevertheless, the public seems to believe that reporters everywhere have their own agendas. How much of this is due to conservative press bashing? And is the fact that the folks at FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting) do a good bit of press bashing from the other side of the spectrum an indication that things are precisely as they should be?
Steve Geimann responds:
I think journalists in