I am admittedly a news junkie. I love to read about current events and discuss them with those around me. However, I am noticing a trend that is hurting our overall news intake. While the news is obviously under fire basically every day and everyone has their opinions and feelings regarding it, I find that there is a root issue of the debate surrounding it. One of the biggest issues regarding how news is taken in and what really will give you a full grasp of the issues going on is turning off the TV and picking up a newspaper.
The main issue with watching the news, or even reading an article online published by a large, media outlet (think CNN or FoxNews) is that television aims to ultimately entertain us. That doesn't mean I don't watch my local news station or a world news program, but I find that if we saturate ourselves with television media as our main news source, we're always going to get the most sensationalized and biased picture. There is not one television news channel or program that is not heavily biased that I can think of off the top of my head, and in part, it's the way the medium works. To draw you in. That's not to say that the written word cannot do that, but one is more likely to sift through the information because they are focusing on what is being said with a more fixed concentration. As well, at least for the United States, d factual. journalism is more reputable and ultimately factual. One is able to get more in depth information and is prompted more easily and readily to compare one story with another and see where the commonalities lie and where the biases lie.
As well, people are not focusing on information anymore. They pick out what they want to hear and allow for their own biases to override good information. If one is reading, they are focusing more automatically and they are more likely to actually take in the information. People will always be the ones to choose biases and ignorance over the truth if they want to, but if we get less sensationalized and more accurate information, we are less likely to do that. On top of that, newspapers focus on a wider variety of issues usually. With the exception of tabloids and propaganda styled newspapers, most newspapers with decent reputations work to give good information on the most important events, such as elections, policy issues, and civil unrest or crisis. They are not blips on the nightly news with a short clip of a bombing or people voting, but they are full fledged articles with different perspectives and background information. This is important when assessing one's opinion on a situation and the accuracy of it.
Overall, we can all gain something from turning down the saturation, and being setting aside time to truly focus on the events occurring around us. When we overwhelm ourselves with current events and become numb to all of it. Instead, take a concerted effort to be informed and allow yourself to become a better citizen becasue of it.