News with a grain of salt

In a culture driven by the mass media and entertainment, which is the lesser of two evils: being uninformed or ill-informed?

We see, hear and read about the political world through the eyes of TV and internet videos, the voice of radio or the interpretation of reports.

It is not enough to watch an individual news broadcast or to read a singular newspaper in order to be accurately informed of the world today. It’s necessary to consume news through multiple media and formulate an original opinion based on several sources.

For most, the media represent the window to the world of politics, meaning the media can significantly affect what we think about politics, what we focus on, how we evaluate current events and how we act based on those things.

It is a pivotal position that the media holds between the government and public, allowing the media to influence government action and support, but the quality of journalism has decreased in recent years and the levels of factuality are on a downward spiral – raising the question of just how accurate is the news that we consume.

Everything from the angle taken in a story to what topics are covered represents a particular point of view aimed at persuading the public on a certain topic.

The public basing political opinions on one source is more detrimental to our society as a whole than if people were completely uninformed of current events. Blindly following a single source turns the public into mindless minions and the mass media into pure propaganda.

In trying to make the news appeal to a wider demographic, this country’s news outlets are turning to entertainment, focusing on amusement value instead of importance when choosing current events to cover.

This role in the world, through the ways media presentations and interpretations of events affect public opinion and government policy, is huge.

It is essential for the public to be wary of the subtle and not so subtle ways that the media influences government, politics and public opinion, taking stock of the news, not with a grain of salt, but with a critical and questioning eye to be truly informed