Why do people keep using biased mainstream media as their only news source?
News channels such as CNN, MSNBC, FOX, etc are clearly biased and don't give all the information, yet I know countless people that use those as their only news source(s). If people actually went to other news sources, such as the BBC, alternative radio news or various print news sources, they would be quite surprised by what the mainstream media isn't reporting on.
All media is biased. It's impossible to be objective even when you try because everyone has a particular mindset and it always comes out in little ways no matter how hard you try to be objective. Your idea/definition (and mine, and everyone else's) of 'objective' is defined by what we already believe.
Periodicals have been slanted from time immemorial. The trick is to know which way they are slanted and to read a variety of different news reports. You are correct in that people who get all of their news/information from a single source are likely to be poorly informed.
I recommend you read my hub titled, "How Do You Know If Information Is Accurate? How To Evaluate Information Sources." Also my hub, "Fact or Opinion? Do You Know the Difference?"
BBC, and all other news sources are slanted too, but you may find them less objectionable because they agree with you. Just because they report what you want to hear does not make them objective.
Read/listen to CNN, MSNBC, Fox, ABC, CBS, BBC, New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, and as many other news sources as you have time for. Over time you will learn which way each of these sources, as well as other sources not listed here, slant. By reading a variety of views and weighing their credibility, you are more likely to get to the bottom of the issue. The truth is usually somewhere between the two extremes.
Yes it's true that its nearly impossible to not have a bias when reporting news, I have a B.A. in Journalism so I understand the mechanics. I wasn't trying to say that the BBC or other news sources weren't biased. One always has to fact check.
It's also not just an issue of bias--which I know everyone is, it's impossible to be completely objective--it's also an issue of what is decided to be "news worthy." I'm not saying that the BBC doesn't have their own slant, but they do report on international events that the U.S. international news doesn't report on. Even the N.Y. Times, which is considered the print journalism standard, has its own bias. The point is, some news sources are a lot less biased than others. Just because it's impossible to be perfectly unbiased doesn't mean journalists shouldn't strive to be as objective as possible.
One example of this was what used to be called the Jim Lehrer NewsHour (now just known as the PBS NewsHour) which shows full extended clips as opposed to soundbites, and doesn't have opinion segments but just reports straight facts. It also broadcasts for a full hour. Of all the Broadcast news sources, it's the most objective and accurate according to professional journalism standards.
Simply put...people are lazy. Most people don't understand or care that mainstream news is very, very biased. I knew a person that was murdered and yet the local news reported the victim as starting a fight when several witnesses reported and testified in court that he was walking away from a visibly upset and verbally threatening person.
I agree, laziness is definitely part of the problem, people just don't want to take the time to really investigate.
It still hurts to know that local news stations portrayed my friend as an aggressor when he was not. The murderer was a complete stranger that walked up to him and began abusing him verbally. He began walking away & was shot in his back.
I'm so sorry to hear that, that is just messed up and wrong. Shame on the news stations that misrepresented that event. Unfortunately, that's not the first incident of murder that I've heard getting twisted by the media.
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