Wandering with my eyes and heart open, searching for pieces to add to my own personal big picture.

Tag: media bias

What’s Your “News” Source?

“I guess I had this naïve notion that we had a very intelligent audience that didn’t need to be told how to think, how to vote, what to do,” Kolatch told the Times.

From New Leader Days: Can You Have a Political Magazine without Politics? By Joseph Epstein 2006

Where is THAT news source? I’d love to watch/read a source like that, one that gives information, “reports” on what’s happening and doesn’t project its feelings on it.

Why have things changed so much? Why does every news source assume passive consumption of other people’s thoughts on events is what their audience wants?

My husband likes to say, “If you think something should be run in a different/better way, then go open a business of your own.” In my case, my first response is, “I’m not a journalist or a businessperson. I just know what I want to read!” My second thought is, “I know that even if I was capable of creating, marketing, and running my own actual news outlet, it wouldn’t sell. There just isn’t a big enough market to sell to.”

The truth of the matter is that the largest audience isn’t “intelligent” and that isn’t a new thing. Most people in the world are simply trying to get through their day, pay the bills and take care of their families. They don’t have the time to read, study, and debate all that’s going on in the world. They just want to be able to trust that the guy on the news, or writing the article, is going to give them useful information and maybe a little entertainment as well.

I don’t know what the answer is. I just know that something is terribly different these days. I sit here wondering what happened, where are we headed? Very few of my friends and family members read anything other than some popular fiction. Most everyone I know gets their news from articles shared by friends on social media.

I’ve been trying some new things lately. I subscribed to the Wall Street Journal but ended up cancelling after a few months because I got tired of reading the same “news” every day. I wish they had a weekend only version! I live in a small town, so getting my local paper is out of the question…it’s just so badly written. I think I’ll look into the Register and Times again, but they are usually so biased one way or the other.

Magazines are a hopeful source and there are a lot to choose from. The only downside is that it feels slightly wasteful to have them pile up…maybe I can share them?

How about you? Where do you get your news? Is it important to you?

Surprised by Media Bias

It’s amazing to me how many people will get upset about skewed and biased news media reports of an incident and then go on to believe the next one so easily. They spout the things they’ve learned about bias as if only that particular outlet does it. Their favorite one doesn’t. They’re honest.

The truth is every news outlet is biased one way or another. No one reports what happened. They all report what they see through there own lens. And that lens can be very warped for one reason or another. Every one of us will do the same. We don’t see anything from someone else’s point of view without a metric crap ton of effort that most of us just don’t have the time or energy for.

So what can you do? Remember that and not act on it, not react to reports. If you find yourself interested in the report, seek out other points of view from places opposite yours. Piece it together and you’ll get a better picture but remember that you’ll never get the whole picture regardless. Act in mercy and understanding regardless of what you find. You weren’t there. You don’t know those people.

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