I believe that a portion of the public relies heavily on news sources to give them the information they know they cannot obtain whether that is through investigation, connections, interviews, or live footage. The problem with the news industry today is how they are acknowledged and how they represent who they are. A portion of the public is interested and informed, while another portion is disinterested and uninformed. Here in America, the public’s trust and understanding in receiving news is divided due to ethics and biases. Some news sources fail to remain neutral on issues or fail to focus on certain issues. While other news sources remain constantly neutral and focus on as many important issues as they can.
Not every reader or viewer is informed. Most readers and viewers don’t have the access that news organizations have in order to receive local or international news information for the day. When a reader or viewer depend on certain news sources to receive their news they are not familiar with how another organization would relinquish the information they may need or want to know. According to Farhip(2012) an editor for the The Washington Post, “There’s more media and more overtly partisan media outlets, too. The Internet has given rise to champions of the left — Huffington Post, Daily Kos, etc. — as well as more conservative organizations such as Drudge and Free Republic. This means your chance of running into “news” that seems biased has increased exponentially, elevating the impression that “bias” is pervasive throughout all parts of the media.”(p.1) I can not determine how the future of news will turn out however, I can certainly say that the news organizations just like, scientists have duties to the public.
News organizations must stay neutral not only on the topics they choose to share but also, when it comes to the topics they choose to cover and relinquish otherwise i believe, the public becomes confused. ““There’s a kind of self-fulfilling perception to it,” said Robert Lichter, a pioneering media-bias researcher who heads the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University. “Once people see something they don’t like, they notice things that reinforce the belief that there’s bias” in the media as a whole.” The news organizations, although independent of each other will lose credibility from their readers and and viewers if they continue on a divided confusing path. “Nowadays…an entire cottage industry exists to highlight the media’s alleged failings. This includes ideological outfits such as Media Matters for America and the Media Research Center; the satirical “Daily Show” and “Colbert Report”;…blogs by the hundreds.”(Farhip, 2012,1)
When you find out that the “watch dogs” you are supposed to trust with your information, your life and safety through could possibly be purposely biased for political reasons, dishonest in the information they share, or wrong in giving the public the correct information they need…it all becomes confusing. “According to a new survey by Pew Research Center, most Americans suspect that made-up news is having an impact. About two-in-three U.S. adults (64%) say fabricated news stories cause a great deal of confusion about the basic facts of current issues and events…across incomes, education levels, partisan affiliations and most other demographic characteristics…”(Barthel, M., Mitchell, A., & Holcomb, J. (2016, December 15) When you realized that the watch dogs themselves are currently being scrutinized by research centers, where do you turn to find real truth?
As far as social media is concerned, various platforms give voices to the voiceless which is both a positive and negative element within society today. When freedom of speech becomes a factor within social media it becomes a complexed issue, very difficult to maintain and control. Social media has made sharing news instantaneous whether or not the information is false or true. Freedom of speech protects an individual’s voice in stating certain beliefs and opinions. People can abuse this particular privilege because, without regulation they can. In this case, an individual uses their voice to intentionally misinform or because, they are unable to gain full access to the whole, full truth. I do not see any way to combat this threat due to the lack of regulation on freedom of speech.