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Trust Issues

I want to believe in journalism. But my faith is waning.

Illustrations by Jessica Siao

For the second time in a week, my phone buzzed with a New York Times alert, notifying me that another celebrity had died by suicide. My heart sank. I tuned into the Crisis Text Line Slack channel to see how many people were waiting for a counselor’s help. Volunteer crisis counselors were pouring in, but the queue kept growing.

Celebrity suicides trigger people who are already on edge to wonder whether or not they too should seek death. Since the Werther effect study, in 1974, countless studies have conclusively and repeatedly shown that how the news media reports on suicide…

Trust Issues

It has its shortcomings, but it’s better than any alternative

Photo by Bettmann/Getty

Trust: It’s never been harder to gain or easier to lose than in 2018. Social media has transformed whom and what we believe, creating echo chambers that present opinion as fact; nationalist politicians have blamed establishment politics for every problem, real and phony, created by globalization and delivered it to voters in a box marked “us vs them.” Democracy — a form of governance that depends on trust in elections, the law, and the institutions of government — hasn’t been this vulnerable in decades.

The trend is most obvious in the country where an ambitious president called, 100 years ago…

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