By Nicholas Perugini, Trending Writer
The 2016 election brought up an ugly truth about the news we view and share. There is a price to pay for easy access to information and news. Social media has made obtaining information easier than ever before. A news story has the ability to be shared worldwide within a day. Despite the apparent benefits, many drawbacks come with easy and quick information sharing.
As easy as truth can spread through the internet, lies can also easily spread as well. Attractive headlines often grab attention better than the actual article. When browsing through social media, individuals gain most of their information by just looking at the headlines. This is a bad way to analyze the news, because critical details that change the entire context of the story cannot be picked up through the title. This also allows news companies to skim over crucial details in their articles, because they know few will actually fact check them. Most people will look at the headline and trust it as fact. This means the truth can be twisted and people can look for such twists in the truth to support their views.
Individuals can now search for articles that are not 100 percent truthful but conform to their viewpoints. Eventually a bubble is created and these news-twisting sites become the only ‘reliable’ source of news for some people. This goes for both sides of the political spectrum. Sites like Breitbart and ThinkProgress twist a news story to fit their narrative. It is amusing that a quote from Thomas Jefferson still holds true to today, “The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.” People relay on news sites that prefer selling a political agenda rather than the truth. The spread of “fake news” also means that people are trying to discredit each other. Viewers are doubling down and staying committed to their own sources of news, rather than trying to find the truth through multiple reports.
Even large news networks are guilty of this. CNN has cut off people on their shows when they say lines in which they disagree with. Currently the Wall Street Journal is trying to pin famous YouTube star PewDiePie, as an anti-Semites. This has caused detriment to the his career and has caused many viewers calling foul play on the Wall Street Journals’ part. People are trying to put their views in the news instead of promoting the actual truth. Viewers are choosing to stick with articles that show views they want to believe in instead of truth and discussion. With the craziness of all this it makes me wonder, at what point does news become blatant propaganda?
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, February 21st print edition.
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