Our news has changed over the years. What we read has not only changed but where we read it has as well.
Older Americans will remember sitting down at the breakfast table with the morning paper. That is a thing of the past. Newspapers are going under in most markets across America. Television and the internet have taken over. So much has changed and many want to know why.
When asked about the news being different, most point to the agenda of one side or the other. Liberals blame conservatives and vise versa.
“People want unbiased news and can’t seem to get it.” said Jessica Wettig, a former Journalism student who chose not to pursue a career in the field. She went on to say, “It’s common knowledge that certain news sources are more liberal or conservative and people don’t trust them.”
Kylie Price, a former University Journalism instructor, thinks all news is biased and always has been. She said,”I think people gravitate toward the voice that validates theirs.” That could be a huge reason readers and viewers trust the media they encounter. Trust seems to be a large problem with our news these days. Why is trust given so easily? Kevin Hunsperger, WSIL NEWS 3 in Southern Illinois, imparted this on the subject,”I think part of it is the fact that anyone can become a “journalist” It’s not unlike people who offer legal, medical and educational advice on social media and the internet without having the background or training to do so.” Every blogger, vlogger and internet star can say something one day and it be almost set in stone the next. Even when some of it is comedic in nature, some will take it as gospel. Hunsperger believes another problem is there’s no sourcing or fact checking a lot of the time. He thinks alternative sources are fine, but wonders if they truly vet who they’re interviewing. How would we know the information they are providing in the article or video is accurate? We really can’t. Anyone can write a blog or post a YouTube video. Which media is the best or worst? Price said,”I wouldn’t say internet news has become more biased than print or broadcasting, for I think all media outlets can be biased.”
It all boils down to what you like. Today’s people like it all. Conservatives tend to not trust any of it and liberals seem to believe everything. Some have said a little personal fact checking could fix both sides.
The fight for ratings or sales in the information business has been going on since early on in America. With Muckrakers (defined by Wikipedia as those who investigates and exposes issues of corruption) getting great readerships in the early days, the competition began to build among local markets. Leading to the Yellow Journalism (a pejorative reference to journalism that features scandal-mongering, sensationalism, jingoism or other unethical or unprofessional practices by news media organizations or individual journalists- Wikipedia) starting soon after. American readers in search of information as well as entertainment fanned the flames of the war between the newspapers in New York. The war for sales, ratings and popularity has been going on since way back when. Politicians have been using the press and media to sway voters from day one. But not until President Ronald Reagan(R California) did it explode into the circus it is today. The movie star brought political sensationalism to the American television news. Jimmy Carter(D Georgia) never had a chance. The world was hooked on the TV waiting for more news about the presidential race. Carter had many fine qualities that would has swayed thousands of voters if they had looked his records up. They were blindly following the media of the day. The ability to do research and make an informed decision is one of the reasons we have the election system we have. The founding fathers studied multiple governments and read many historical documents before deciding on our election process. Our individual thoughts, ideas and choices are what make us a free country. Trusting media outlets and not excercizing our GOD given decision making skills has put us in a terrible spot.
Lt. Matthew Griffin, CMM