From Gary Abernathy, as published by The Washington Post:
Thomas Jefferson famously wrote, “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.” The biggest danger to Jefferson’s preference is not Donald Trump. It is the self-destructive habits of modern journalism itself. That it is better to be right than to be first is a concept that, in the Internet age, seems as quaint as Jefferson’s quill pen.
Jefferson could not have conceived of a BuzzFeed and the infinite landscape of constantly updated digital platforms, or the 24-hour cable news cycle. But all who aspire to be part of the Fourth Estate, by whatever platform their product is delivered, should cherish — cherish — the responsibility it entails. That means fairness over bias, caution over immediacy, and trustworthiness over clickbait. It means slowing down and getting it right — something completely at odds with the age in which we live but essential to regaining the public’s trust.