How Much Should We Really Trust the Media?



Graphic by: Xavier Mateo

Daniel Morrison, STAFF WRITER

   In today’s current climate, the media seems to be controlling our lives. It definitely holds the power to, as it influences almost anyone who stumbles upon it. But there is an enormous amount of information-and misinformation out there that can alter the way we think. When you turn on the TV, flip that page in the newspaper, or scroll up on that social media site, it just gets fed right into your brain. So, whether we should trust what we are reading and viewing is something to question.


   Depending on the source, I believe the media is trustworthy. However, it’s one thing to just retain the information and move on with your life, it’s another to take initiative and do background research. By doing this, you can develop a form of familiarity with the topic that in turn helps locate absurd facts or statistics. Research also introduces you to similar details elsewhere indicating that what you’re reading is likely to be credible. Still, matching ideas do not guarantee credibility due to media bias.


   Bias is prevalent in a large chunk of the information we read; I’ve seen it almost everywhere. For instance, politically, most Democrats tend to watch news from Cable News Network (CNN), a channel leaning left, while most Republicans go to Fox News, a channel leaning right. Each cover and report specific stories in their own fashion appealing to their loyal viewers and some bring in experts to speak about certain matters, usually governmental ones, and use facts to support the channel’s way of thinking. As often as we hear them say “we cover all angles…” or “unbiased news…” but the opposite is usually true. At times, whether obvious or not, information is purposely left out in order to deter opponents and promote their logic.


   However, that does not take away their accuracy. I feel traditional mainstream media are more reliable than not. They inform people of what’s currently happening as well as educate and entertain them. Of course, when speaking about controversial issues or politics it is better to be transparent than reticent. But I think for the most part, that’s something traditional media does a fine job at.  


   Social media, on the other hand, can be more questionable. People can express themselves more freely on social media platforms sometimes causing wrongful information to spread to thousands, and sometimes millions, of people. Many use these kinds of platforms to obtain their daily or weekly news so it can be damaging to their knowledge of the information and who they share it to. However, apps such as Twitter, flag misleading content directing people to correct information. 


   As the digital world continues to consume us, I believe people should be more cautious on what they’re reading. I don’t think people should give up social media when it comes to reading news but to again, do research to gain enough understanding of the subject matter.


   Overall, my opinion is that trusting the media is a safe bet. I tend to watch and read mainstream media, specifically, but gathering information elsewhere won’t put you in harm’s way. Just make sure that what you’re reading is trustworthy and accurate. 


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