OPINION

Can we really trust the media?

Is everything we read or hear true?

Last term in English class we were told to write our thoughts on whether or not we trust the media. This was my answer:

For a long time, various forms of news media have existed in this world. And for many years now, the reliability of the information delivered by the media has been heavily manipulated. It seems that this issue is becoming more and more significant in the 21st Century.

An executive editor of DiverseEducation.com, Ronald Roach, says quote: “more than ever, the American news media are under public scrutiny for the way individual reporters conduct themselves, for how news coverage on major events is carried out and for the balance media organizations purport their opinion’’ These days, more reports tend to be subjective rather than being objective.

They try not to, but we are humans and we all have different opinions and usually we put them out. An unnamed source suggested that it is impossible being completely objective saying: ‘’Now that there are severe doubts about whether it is possible to be objective in journalism many media sources have given up altogether and nowadays reports are mixed with opinion pieces to guide and instruct the audience’s opinion’’ When reporters say their opinion, they are often trying to change yours. They sometimes want people to think the same as they do.

We can also argue how television news shows tend to emphasize negative issues and frequently portray violent or extreme news stories. They always speak about emotional stories to catch the audience attention. Apparently due to the desire for increased profit; many people working in the media will represent whatever has a potential to increase viewers.

That way they ignore real issues that are not being talked about. One critic has said: “Journalists are mostly interested in sensationalist stories, worse case scenarios and public scare stories. Market dynamics encourage journalists to provide hard hitting, entertainment style news that grab and maintain the audience’s attention even if they’re not exactly informative or objective styles’’

Of course they have to gain money because that is their job but being a reporter also means informing the people not letting half of the story out. Part of this ethical problem is because of the way that nature of news media is changing. The news media is turning into more of an entertainment source rather than an actual source of factual news.

The main reason why people have lost their trust on news media is fake news. As an unmade source says it is not easy to recognize them: “Fake news is tough to identify, there are headlines that seem truthful but maybe the background information doesn’t really match them.

Or sometimes the data does match it but it’s been selectively chosen and analysed to support pre-existing claim’’ They are growing so rapidly that people do not know when the information it is true or false. We have so many types of social media where fake news are all over them: Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp etc. As the quote says, they can talk about a fact that it is happening but they can always make up the story.

‘’Falsehood spreads significantly further, faster, deeper and more widely than truth in all categories of information, and the effects were more pronounced for false political news than for false news about terrorism, natural disasters, science, urban legends or financial information ” – Science. Fake news have become something normal in our life where they can even invent a terrorist attack or even a science experiment. I repeat myself, they seem so truthful we do not know when to believe it or not.

Resultado de imagen de why people don't trust the media
Nieman Lab

On the other hand, there are some reliable sources out there. Thanks to that, there is some people who still trust some news media. A study has been made to identify the reasons why someone would trust the news.

Accuracy is the principal one. Eighty‑five percent of Americans rate it as extremely or very important that news organizations get the facts right, higher than any other general principle. If they get the facts rights we can be sure they are not lying to us.

Then we have a factor related to clarity. Fully 72 percent says it is extremely or very important to them that a news report is concise and gets to the point. When reading online news some other factors are involved. There is a new study that has been done to know what people think is the most important thing regarding online news.

The results are: with 63 percent, that ads do not interfere with the news, that the site or app loads fast (63 percent); and the last one is that the content works well on mobile phones (60 percent). In contrast, only 1 in 3 say it is very important that digital sources allow people to comment on news.

When people read something on social media they try to look for cues to help them know what to trust there. Winning by 66 percent is trust in the original news organization that produced the content. The reputation of the person who shared the material is a less frequently cited factor with 48 percent.

If the organization is a trustworthy source it will be easier to rely on it. The same thing about the person who posted that article. It is less answered because that person might have taken out that article for an unreliable source and we do not know.

In conclusion, we have to be careful while reading news, especially online. We have to know who posted and then search about them. That way, we will be more informed about the author and then, we decide whether we trust them or not. I personally do not trust some online sources or social media news, like most people. I always try to look into the new explained so I can learn more information about. That is when I have my own opinion about the topic explained.

Alejandra Allende Varela

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