Here’s a sad fact about the world: no matter how you look at it, there is really no such thing is reporting just “the facts.” Because human beings are emotional creatures, we will always add our own spin and our own point of view to everything that we say or hear. Human beings really don’t have the ability to be unbiased about anything, because we will always have our own point of view.
The media is no exception to this. Americans in particular tend to rely on the media to be fair and unbiased, but the recent election of 2016 has shown that it is anything but. Almost every news media took sides with one presidential candidate or another, and fought valiantly to defend their candidate of choice no matter what evidence came out against them. It is no coincidence that most Americans have totally lost faith in their news media, and are turning en masse to smaller publications for their news.
Here’s the problem: at the end of the day, the news is a business. They want to make money, so they will talk about what they need to talk about in order to make people watch/read/buy their product: the news. If that means that they need to report on banal nonsense instead of real world events, that’s what they’ll do. A disturbing example of this is when Kim Kardashian was robbed and Syria was bombed and children were killed in the same day. Which story do you think got the front page?
You’re right! The Kardashians made the front page. Because who cares about raising awareness for Syrian refugees (who are all too distrusted in many countries) when you could instead talk about Kim Kardashian? It is a disgrace to everyone that calls themselves “journalists.” But maybe we can’t blame them too much, because who knows what we would do if we were in that position?
I remember when I was younger. I had a job at a warehouse, sealing pallets with pallet collars like the ones from Kronus Collars. The news was almost always on at the warehouse; and there was a difference in the news then vs. now. There was much less bias. What happened?
I personally believe that the rise of the internet and smartphone are to blame; but blame is a sticky word. Maybe they enabled the rise of this new, bias-heavy media. But the more popular the internet became, the more that news media had to compete. When there is less competition, you don’t have to embellish the truth or capture attention.
But now, sadly, you do.
What is the solution? I personally believe young, idealist journalists are the way of the future. Sites like AlterNet and other small outlets are the way of the future, because they care more about the truth and helping people than making a quick buck and satisfying stockholders. Don’t knock idealism; it’s how we get great innovations that we have today!