We use the media every day, whether you like it or not. You scroll through Twitter and check up on your friends lives or what's trending at the moment. You scroll through Instagram and look at what all of your friends are up to, but only the good side of their lives. You get news from online news sources like NBC or MSN.
Picture this: you're scrolling through Twitter and you see a headline that interests you, "Downward Spiral: How Addiction Decimated a Wyoming Family." You click on it to see what exactly Sabine Heinlein from The Guardian has to say. The story covers a family in Wyoming whose entire family is portrayed to be addicted to some kind of substance or another. Alcohol and opioids to name a couple. You're absolutely shocked as you read the article, and your heart breaks for anyone affected by the overdoses or addiction. Alex, the man who was the information source for the article, spewed off how the mom was addicted to drugs, how the daughter overdosed on drugs (unsure as to if it was intentional or not), and how the other daughter, who happened to be his wife, was addicted to opioids for fifteen years.
I, personally, believe the media is an amazing tool that can be used for so many mind-boggling things we never thought possible before technological advances. You can speak with someone in an instant, contact people across the globe, and access information in a more efficient manner. But, when accessing the information, do you check to see if the information is true or do you rely on the author of the article or the document you're reading? It's the media's job to double-check facts and make sure their story is accurate, right? Wrong.
This story I described to you above is a story full of lies that have now left Alex's family scrambling to clear their name. The mom, who in the story died of alcoholism after her daughter died from opioid use, died from cancer more than six years prior to what happened with her daughter. The daughter who overdosed on drugs was given two different medications that mixed the wrong way and she lost consciousness causing her to hit her head and pass away. The daughter who was married to Alex didn't die from opioid use, she had what is believed to be a stroke caused by health Issues.
When contacted, Heinlein stated that what was in the story was "proven facts." When writing an article, you should prove the facts by double-checking them. This is just one example of how media can become misconstrued and have lasting effects on anyone involved. The article that is published about the family is being spread across the internet and various social media platforms, despite the fact that it is not factual, because one person said something and made up a story to get paid. If used the wrong way, media can be harmful to a reputation and really destroy a person or someone affected.