I have a never ending love of the news. I read several papers, watch it on tv, and pretty much irritate everyone around me with information they don’t care about.
With this being the case, it might surprise you to read that I have a deep seeded hatred for many news organizations. Or maybe it won’t. Maybe you’re a news glutton like me, and you’ve noticed these things too.
Every news organization is biased.
They’re not all Fox, but they all let their bias show. Look, I love MSNBC, and I watch Rachel Maddow every night. But I take even her with a grain of salt. It is just too easy to show the story from whatever point of view makes your point best.
A good story is a good story, no matter who it hurts
I feel as though this one is self explanatory, but I’ll expand upon it a little anyway. Sometimes a story that doesn’t directly impact our lives is still important. For instance, if it will change how we might buy a product, view an organization or vote. An example of this is what companies are for or against gay rights, or what politician did (insert gross scandalous thing here) after demonizing single mothers for being whores. An example of what we don’t need to hear about is the whole Lance Armstrong thing. Yeah, what he did was bad, and yeah he was a hero to a lot of people. But unless you are a cyclist or a member of his family, it didn’t impact you or the way you interact with the world. It’s just gossip. And most news sources don’t care.
Ratings drive content
I don’t blame the journalists who are guilty of either of these things, though. Yes, the first rule of journalism is that it’s supposed to be unbiased. But most American’s don’t want that. We want well dressed people who agree with what we already think. We make our viewing decisions based on that, and journalists who cater to that have jobs.
Keep in mind, I say we because I am guilty of this, too. Yes, I do my best to keep an open mind and inform myself of the actual facts of a situation or election. I try to learn what is actually going on, and I also try to to look into a situation before I get all indignant about it. But I still watch Rachel Maddow every night. The only thing I’ll say is that, in my case at least, it’s mostly for entertainment value.
If I could ask one thing of you, it would be this; consider what you’re learning when you watch the news. How much of it is actual fact, and how much of it is a media bias for or against a certain political party? Learn to strip a story down to just facts, and see how you, personally, feel about a situation before you’re told how to feel. I think if we could all do this, then journalists could start doing what they’re supposed to do; informing us of what’s going on in the world around us.