It is increasingly impossible to watch or read the news without an impending doom weighing down on us—the ever polarizing effect of media bias. As a result, it has become a familiar, recurring fad, to distrust and despise the news.
Journalism exists as a means of distributing information and enabling the masses to make informed decisions that will benefit them in their communities. In order to ensure full transparency between those who govern and those who are governed, a free and unbiased press is necessary.
When people are accurately informed, they possess the power to overthrow corrupt governments, ensure safety, pass bills, and even save lives. The yellow journalism of today has sent a tidal wave of angst and fear throughout the nation.
Rumors are published by the media, and in turn, perceived as the truth by all those who trust in the reliability of the news.
In the past, individuals have sought information from books, lectures, news, and friends and family. Naturally, there is a fundamental trust in the sharing of important information from trusted sources.
During Donald Trump’s campaign, in which he attempted to discredit media outlets that went against him by labelling them “fake news,” people started to distrust certain news organizations.
As the country grew increasingly divided, people started picking news outlets based on political leanings and rhetoric they identified with. Now more than ever, the press is using its power to push forth biased ideologies rather than represent the interests of all Americans through objective reporting.
The problem with this is that true journalism does not exist to soothe egos or political fantasies. It is supposed to help us understand all points of view. As free thinkers, we must preserve our freedom by exercising our right to be properly informed.
American social critic Noam Chomsky pointed out that, even in democratic societies like America and Britain, a press run by special interests and bias lives right under our noses.
In the midst of all the sensory overload brought on by flashy headlines and breaking news stories, it is essential to take a step back and employ logic and common sense.
A free press is not the enemy of the people. In fact, it may very well be our savior from corruption and tyranny—all we have to do is stop and think for a second.