Many years ago, I walked away from a potential career in a field that I had loved because I had a major falling out with the actions of one editor. I would not accept her apologizing for the student newspaper telling the truth.
I’ve never regretted the decision I made that day. Journalism in any form, was never meant to be what it has become: a distraction. There is very little truth in journalism now, and there is a great amount of sensationalism. In fact, I find more truth in Hollywood movies such as “The Hunger Games”, “V for Vendetta”, Divergent, “The Matrix” Trilogy, “Idiocracy”, etc. than I do in newspapers, or newscasts.
Journalism was not meant to play on our emotions, and journalists were never meant to be the story. And yet, we base which news we watch on whether or not we like the personality or face of the person reading the script, or if they share the same views as we do. We react to the stories based on how we feel about them, not about the facts, or lack thereof presented in them.
When I skim the headlines, which I do daily, I always try to base my indication of the truth of the story based on, primarily, two different factors. The first factor is how often am I seeing the story? If I am seeing the story on multiple websites, and multiple times on those websites, it is usually a distraction. There may be some facts involved, but usually not all the facts, and the piece is often written to confuse or mislead the reader. The second factor I use is how much emotion is involved? Those pieces which draw a strong emotional reaction from us are specifically written to do so. If we react in a certain way to a story, we are more likely to have a specific reaction which can then be used to manipulate us into certain societal changes.
We must be aware of what we read, and the media we expose ourselves to. We must demand factual information from our journalists, and stop allowing them to fabricate and sensationalize our news. We must hold them accountable to the best standards, and accept nothing less.
However, we must also accept responsibility as well, and hold ourselves accountable. We must stop rationalizing and accepting the flashy pieces, and stop watching the glitzy presenters. We must remember that opinions are not news, and don’t have to include facts. We must remember that factual news will not be presented until we stop accepting fluff, and start demanding truth. If we want a truthful world, then we must help create it.