The Issue Behind TikTok

Time to Bring Media Policy into the Conversation

Jaci Clement
4 min readMar 15, 2024
Photo by Nik on Unsplash

Let’s talk politics.

Actually, not politics in terms of candidates and platforms — that stuff is for you to argue about at family gatherings and in Facebook postings. What we bring to the table is not judgment over who you vote for and whatever party you belong to (or switch to or drop out of). But rather, our wish for you is to cast a vote after being educated on the issues.

And that’s where news comes in. But not always.

Because in today’s media landscape whatever credible reporting is being done is vastly outnumbered by what we don’t consider to be news at all, yet it wears a news label.

What comprises the not-news-but-called-news category includes, but is not limited to, the agenda-driven, the pay-for-play, the sponsored content, the advertorial, the fake news sites and misinformation websites which are making their spring debut in a bid to ramp up political interference, the infomercial featuring someone behind a desk pretending to be a news anchor, the comedian seated behind a desk openly pretending to be a news anchor, and anyone who labels themselves as a news personality, presenter, actor, talk show host and/or influencer. These labels don’t equate to “journalist.” In fact, such labels enable the circumvention of…

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Jaci Clement

Considered the most influential media scholar in the world today, Jaci Clement has been working for and with news media since the fourth grade.