When it comes to the news media... Trust No One
I'm already cutting back hard on social media but I have the news media in my sites too. The fact of the matter is that almost all of the "news" today, is sensationalism and tabloid junk. Whether that be political, national, world, tech, entertainment, or the various genres of pop culture. It's all being pushed out the backdoor and posted up to the world and broadcast to the millions in the name of clicks, views, and advertising.
There was a 6 part special on A&E about the Laci Peterson murder and it was shocking to find out, that even then, before the internet, the news media was showing us 98% crap. If you look at that case on just the facts, then we probably have an innocent man on death row. Several people on the jury have said they regret their vote in the verdict because they were wrapped up in the sensationalism of the media and the narrative the media was telling versus the case that was playing out in the courtroom.
Cut to today and add in the internet, zero verification of any story, stories created from Tweets, and deep fakes… and you have an entire media that is essentially a tabloid entity, with the sheep of society just believing the fake narratives being told. Oh… and for those that want to politicize the sides, both sides of the slanted media, do the exact same thing with narrative creation. This is why I don't like sharing news via social media anymore. It's all unverified and fake for the sake of clicks, views, and ads.
The normal MO of media is to rush to put out the gossip first thing in the morning. Remember, this is all unverified when being released. Then, the rest of the media will take that original story and push that out with passing mention to the original media platform. Now the entire news media has pushed this story out by 9 AM and no one has verified anything. The public generally consumes the news in the morning, so the unverified news that has been plastered everywhere, becomes the FACT of the day. However, by afternoon, a truth starts coming out and the original media platform will quietly start walking back their original release, usually with a retraction or amended footnote to the original story around 5 pm to 6 pm, too late for it to make the 5 or 6 pm broadcast news and go out. Never mind the fact that most people get the news in the morning anyway so the retraction is seldom seen or even spread via social media. Point blank, journalism and ethics are dead.
I get tired of seeing the stories that you can call as sensationalism, know they will spread, and then see that late night retraction. The "I told you so," just doesn't do it for me. Not only that, but it makes me angry that there are no ethics in journalism. About the only thing close to an ethical version of journalism will be a long form story, and even then, we've seen several that are just patently false and indeed, ruined people's lives, in the past. You have to take it all with a grain of salt. Frankly, I think people on social media should just stop sharing it out but that won't happen. Most of them have been duped by the false sensationalism anyway.
I however don't need to play. I don't need to share out stories I read. I don't need to add to the sensationalism of the lie. So therefore… I consume much less "news" media of all kinds. From the horribly titled headlines that begin with “Yes (or No), X isn't going to do Y,” (NEVER start a headline with YES or NO, it is pure editorial crap at that point), to the headlines that do little name drops that you just know will have no significant point on the actual story, I just skip them. Especially those Yes or No headlines. Those just scream failed writer with no business even trying to attempt journalism as a valid writing career.
One also has to ask, if the media is given all of these protections, but they continually put out unverified, manipulated, or straight out fake and sensationalist news, then why are they being protected as they are? If the platform is constantly breaking the terms of protection, shouldn’t that specific platform or media conglomerate, lose those protections? There is nothing in place for when the checks and balances of the media have sold out to the money though. The news media is/was the last check on balance left to the populace. Therefore it is up to the populace to ignore the media and that is not going to happen. So there you go, the catch 22 and the rock and a hard place. Don’t expect it to change, so YOU have to be the individual to remove yourself from the equation there.
The world has gone mad. Maybe it has always been mad. Maybe there was never ethics in journalism to begin with. We just wanted to see and feel like there was this independent entity that was out there fighting for truth, when all there was, were vectors to sensationalism that paid out in money or fame.
Never blindly trust the media.