If you can’t trust the news media, trust your own judgment


There is a John Mayer song called “Waiting on the World to Change” that I’m sure everyone in my generation has heard before. You may be one of those people who remember it more as that annoying ringing in your ears around the time it came out in 2006. It’s about feeling small and powerless, and when he sings about seeing the news on the television, it goes, “Cause when they own the information, they can bend it all they want.”
It popped into my head the other day after catching up on the news. According to the latest Gallup poll on American’s trust in the media “to report the news fully, accurately and fairly,” that trust has hit an all-time low at 32 percent since polling began in 1972.
I found this interesting and worth discussing considering that we, being a newspaper and all, do our own reporting of the news to the Gannon community.
Although it doesn’t particularly pertain to the level of publishing we do, it’s becoming a problem with the state of journalism today.
Of course, coverage of the upcoming election has certainly played a role in the latest result, but trust has been steadily declining since the internet really began to reach the vast majority of people a little over a decade ago.
Isn’t it important to ask ourselves why now, with the ability to receive breaking news instantly at the palms of our hands, the whole truth is more unclear than ever before? The fourth estate represents one of the greatest freedoms we have in the United States and only one- third of Americans see it as reliable.
Back in the day, as my parents have often put it, there were only about five channels on television. Other than the newspaper and radio, the only other professional source of news was one of these major television stations.
Now, there are hundreds of independent news sources on the internet and dozens of news stations on television.
Even social media have had a huge impact on the way we receive news. Facebook has been the top news source for millennials for nearly two years. Only have about 10 seconds in your day to catch up on what’s happening throughout the world? Snapchat has you covered now.
The bottom line is we shouldn’t be waiting around for anything to change.
The millennial generation should care about the news and, more importantly, question how truthful and unbiased that news is. And by news, I don’t mean TMZ (admittedly, I read my fair share of that, too).
I feel like general knowledge of current events is at an all-time low for our demographic because kids just don’t care very much. We’re quick to have an opinion on them, but are we really all that informed?
In my opinion, the best way to hold up the journalistic integrity of America’s major new sources right now is to deduct what the truth is from the multitude of sources available today and keep up with current events. Challenge major news sources to broadcast the facts and not conform to an agenda.
It should be an issue that transcends the political spectrum, so no matter if you’re left or right, it’s something to take issue with.
Don’t just listen to what you want to hear; dig up what’s really going on.

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