The media is a very serious business. Every single media outlet that we read, watch or listen to has a commitment to the people to report the news and deliver factual information so they can stay informed on the things that are relevant to them. But if we look around, this is happening less and less. When we receive the news in one form or another it has been manipulated to make us accept an invited reading that has been manipulated to benefit someone else. So when the news can no longer be considered true news, where do we go?
You see, the newspapers, websites and radio stations that we listen to are owned by someone with money and power. They quite openly favour political parties and take sides in news stories based on their own value sets. This is fine, and every person in this world is entitled to his or her own opinion. But I feel that this means every piece of news we receive is skewed from fact.
Last week we asked everyone where people receive their news every day. Something that amazed us is that almost half of the Starts at 60 community watch morning TV and that is where they get their news. Now this is fine, only as someone who watches it every single morning, I know that this is one of the most biased forms of the news.
I love morning TV but it is one of the few places where the news is discussed. It is discussed by the presenters and delivered to us with their own value set and opinions. We aren’t given the chance to make up our own mind based on fact when it comes to these news because of the way it is delivered. When we watch the presenters interview politicians, as they have this week, they ask the questions that position the politicians in one way or another. They aren’t open ended questions like, “What is the background to this policy?” or “What research have you used to support this measure?” they instead force them into a corner by accusing them of something and forcing them to firstly disprove their statement and then justify their true position on the matter – if they get that far.
The big question is, how are we building independent thought when we’re only given creative interpretation of any issue?
The news was once upon a time, just that – plain and simple news. No facts were skewed and journalistic integrity was taught. For so long we had the plain and simple news delivered to us every night. Then we had investigative journalism when Four Corners came in 1961 presenting detailed insight and investigation into current affairs. Then we had Lateline and the 7:30 report that began to give us a more detailed discussion about the news that argued all sides and perspectives.
For so long breakfast TV was simply a pleasant way to wake up. They talked about fun things, entertaining things, pieces of news that affected the day to day, different valuable pieces of information like handy hints to save money or new health and science breakthroughs but never the hard hitting current affairs matters. They were never a place for politics and the other things they focus on so heavily today.
It concerns me that there is almost no true, fact media around anymore. The news is no longer news; it is a tool that positions us to accept an agenda from someone else. It has become a tool of power and manipulation.
So I ask the Starts at 60 community today, do you think there is any “true” news left? Do you feel that most forms of media are skewed and manipulated to change our opinions? Where do you feel can be relied on for true news? Share your thoughts in the comments below…