Veteran news anchor delivers important message about the press to viewers during final broadcast

For years Americans’ trust in the media has declined. A recent poll from Gallup shows that just 34 percent of Americans believe the press “fully, accurately and fairly” reports the news.

And while Americans’ confidence has dwindled year after year, members of the media continue to try and convince consumers they are “not the enemy of the people.”

Before he signed off for the final time, Jim Gardner, a Philadelphia news anchor, took the opportunity to defend the industry. The 46-year veteran delivered his “final word” to viewers which included an anecdote about Thomas Jefferson’s belief in freedom of the press and a message about “unbiased journalism.”

Gardner began his career in 1968 when he reported on the riots at Columbia University. Two years later, in 1970, he graduated from Columbia University and went on to work at WINS Radio in New York. He would continue to work in radio for several more years before transitioning to television.

In 1976 he joined WPVI-TV in Philadelphia as a reporter and anchor of Action News at Noon. The following year he assumed the role of anchor for the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. broadcasts. Nearly five decades later he signed off for the final time with an important message for viewers.

‘We are not the enemy of the people.’

“The American free press has been under attack, not by forces from other countries, but from elements embedded in our own society, and even our own government. It worries me deeply,” he said.

“Serving the people, you the people of the tri-state area, with responsible and unbiased journalism. This is our mission now and in the future,” Gardner added.

“And if we falter, you damn well better let us know, for your benefit and for ours.”

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