The older I get the more I begin to see clearly the evolution of news and how it is delivered. Given our current state of global pandemic, how we get news is critical. This post is my opinion and observation over time. Regardless of what kind of news you watch, political, social etc the change has been very subtle but based on a simple premise due to how the economics of the visual medium has changed.
Basically news now is delivered to get your attention not to deliver facts primarily. This is extremely important to understand because this largely how many outlets generate revenue. “Views” are king and drive revenue. In the past there were simply way less outlets for people to get news. Let’s face it, you can get a decent summary of the news and events online via umpteen sources.
This has left traditional media outlets in a tough place. They have to create more sensation around news so that the delivery is more appealing than the notion of actually getting meaningful information. Many news outlets have learned from the demise of newspapers. Remember those? There was a time when they were king. Real journalism based on facts researched and verified. Now if you spend the time researching and verifying you miss the news cycle.
Literally hundreds of commentators all over the world on the web have already drawn a conclusion and professed the issue done and moved on to the next. Hence many large outlets have had to begin entertaining audiences and slant messages to draw specific audiences. This isn’t a left right issue, both sides do it. The key here is to remember and be honest about the motivations of the person delivering the information. In today’s news world you want to tell people what they want to hear, because often people are not looking for objective facts but rather verification of how they feel.
It’s dangerous really, because what happens is you get these echo chambers that in the end up making villains of anyone who does not agree with the point of view of said echo chamber. It happens all over the place too, conservative, liberal, male, female it’s largely issue driven now. You can find someone out there who perfectly fits the narrative you want to hear, not necessarily the truth.
In the U.S. we had a huge wake up call to this reality in 2016. Outlet after outlet after outlet told us Trump couldn’t win. When he did those outlets began to create the narratives of why, and villainize any and all who had a contrary point of view. How many did take a deep dive into why? How many bothered to try and understand the tens of millions of people who voted for Trump? Very few.
The same can be said for the other side, labels on supporters of the left are horrible as well. Crybabies, whining, soy boys, incels on and on and on. In the end it’s really up to you to decide what is important to you. What are the issues that mean the most to you? Once you do that you need to go deeper, you need to do a lot of research to understand the entirety of the issues you care about.
There is so much noise out there now and it is so easy to just give over to the outlets who parrot nearly what you want to hear. What if they are wrong? What if their intent is to just capture and hold your attention as long as possible? Follow the facts, they are out there. A quick example before I end this rant. I read an argument on twitter about gun rights in the U.S. none of the participants were able to accurately state what the 2nd amendment stated literally, but were both using it as an argument to support their point of view.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, just remember there are facts, not “alternative facts” go find them.