With TV shows like The Newsroom, films like Goodnight and Good Luck, and the various forms of sensationalist and biased American news networks as well as the move towards digital media, it’s clear that theres an issue with honest news these days. Whether it be Fox New’s denial of them having a right wing agenda, MSNBC’s left wing sensationalism, or CNN Domestic’s whatever it is they do, theres clear signs of journalistic integrity becoming old fashioned. “New Media” in particular is quite guilty of this. While being able to expose a government’s human rights violations on Twitter is a good thing, this should not be the primary source of news. The average person does not have the education to know how to report news. For example, when sensitive government documents are leaked, they often contain information that can get people killed, or contribute to that government’s enemies who are often worse than that government itself. When care is not taken with regards to how sensitive information is deal with it can leak to completely unnecessary problems that could have been avoided while still exposing the corruption of the target.
Another example is misrepresentation of the news. A person could be presenting perfectly valid news, but not be presenting the whole story or enough of both sides of the story. When only one version of a story is presented, it makes it easy to sensationalise it and turn it into something biased that specific parties can use to justify their questionable actions. When one action in a series of events of a complex situation is the only one shown to the public, it is easy to blame one party as an aggressor and cause massive outrage that could lead to violence and deaths for a pointless cause because people tend to blindly follow sensationalist causes because it’s easier to blame a party and portray them as evil, making you and your side feel righteous and seeking justice.
The reason we need responsible reporting, and responsible reasonable viewers is because as much as people would like to think that the news isn’t important and that events around the world don’t affect them, inaction and ignorance are choices with consequences. When you excuse the blame from yourself for events that occurred outside your daily life you’re living in denial, ignoring things that happen around you and making yourself feel better by saying its someone else’s problem, or that you could not have stopped it.
The fact is that whether or not you hear about it, there are massive injustices occurring around the world. You might not be able to do anything about them right now, you might not be able to get on a plane right now and fly to Africa to give food to starving children, but that doesn’t justify you spending your whole life living comfortably in a first world country never trying to help. You might not care that the environment is slowly getting destroyd, and you might think that separating recyclable material is ten seconds more than you have to spend throwing something away, but the fact is that you’re trading your ten seconds of extra effort for someone else’s hours of sorting recyclables, or just dumping them in landfills. You might die before the environment affects you, but it’s going to affect someone else. Those ten seconds you saved yourself each time you walked to a trash can, the ten seconds that the other millions of people saved, add up to people having to live in a world where resources are scarce and living conditions drop immensely. You can’t say you’re not selfish and then brush off responsibility like that, inaction is a choice that your subconscious tells you is immune from blame. That’s denying reality.
The point is to care about truth and other people.
You don’t have to travel to the Middle East to promote peace. What you should do is watch the news, because your life is affected by events around the world and you have a share in the responsibility for those actions. When you watch multiple news sources and verify them, you get closer to the truth. When you see something that you disagree with, you should figure out if your reasoning and beliefs are correct. If you think they are, then you should speak out about it and take peaceful action to urge your government or other relevant parties to fix the injustices you see. You should try to promote cooperation and understanding between opposing sides and bring truth, justice and peace to the world.