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Sun media critic Davis Zurawik with host Brian Stelter on CNN's "Reliable Sources,"
Sun media critic Davis Zurawik with host Brian Stelter on CNN's "Reliable Sources," (Screengrab CNN)

On Sunday’s year-end edition of “Reliable Sources,” host Brian Stelter asked me and Nicole Carroll, editor in chief of USA Today, what we would like to see come to an end in the new media year.

I chose the kind of hateful rhetoric that is all too prevalent in media today, specifically those targeting vulnerable populations, like Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s suggestion that immigrants make America "dirtier.”

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Carroll chose fake news: “It’s got to become socially unacceptable to spread those stories.”

Stelter said he hoped to see an end to threats against journalists: “Got to change, got to stop,” he said.

We also discussed hopeful signs in media from the past decade.

My pick: the take down of media giants like CBS CEO Les Moonves, Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes and Miramax co-founder Harvey Weinstein as a result of reporting on the #MeToo movement.

Both Carroll and Stelter saw hope in the rise of non-profit news organizations like ProPublica and an increase in foundations donating to traditional news organizations.

Here we talked about the rise of social media in recent years and grappled with the question of whether it has been more empowering or alienating to citizens.

One of the biggest challenges in the coming decade, we agreed is defending the First Amendment in this digital age.

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