There is a fairly new term that has been floating around for the past few weeks: Fake News. The implication is that journalists and media are making up lies in order to promote their political persuasion.
I remember how different things were when I grew up. The radio played music or aired comedy shows for the better part of each hour leaving only a few minutes to broadcast the news, sports and weather. We had a weekly community newspaper and one daily paper from the nearby city. The test pattern started and ended the television day which was filled mostly with live programs and commercials. Often we didn’t even know about events that occurred in another geographic area for several days.
Now we have twenty-four hour television with an almost unlimited number of channels that offer breaking news for crimes and events that are occurring live throughout the entire world. Global newspapers can be found quickly through simple internet clicks. We have become accustomed to having instant access to any information we want or need.
In psychology we learn that opinions are merely thoughts and it is therefore easy to find differing opinions on any topic. Both thoughts and opinions can change quickly, especially if new information is available.
I think that it must be difficult for media sources today considering all the expectations for them to provide interesting twenty-four hour programming, If a channel’s mandate is to focus on politics, it must come up with guests and topics that will attract the viewer no matter how little news is generated by politicians that day or week. As a result, the anchors and guests have to take what they have, repeat it and “spin” it so that people will continue to tune in.
Think about what might happen if you and your friends were sitting together for hours at a time talking about politics. After the most recent current event is recounted, there might be some “What if… ” statements or speculation about why that occurred or even what might happen next. It wouldn’t take long until “perhaps” is quoted as fact.
Because the internet is not regulated, anyone can post anything they want. Thoughts, opinions and not necessarily truth.
Here’s some advice that might help you to sort things out:
1. Don’t assume that everything you read, hear or see is accurate.
2. Keep in mind the fact that demand for news and continuous broadcasting has created a vacuum that needs to be filled by the media.
3. Let go! Most of what is discussed or written is not in your sphere of control. You don’t have to listen to or read everything that is available and you sure don’t have to fix things.
4. Remember to make healthy choices and balance your life instead of focusing only on the news reports.