Post No.: 0084
The professional press industry is generally a very good thing if it is free to investigate stories and issues of public interest and isn’t controlled by a single monopoly (be it a state or a massive private media conglomerate). But even small, individual media companies can have partisan or parochial interests and nearly no news outlet is truly impartial (all editors are ultimately human after all). What facts they present may need to be reasonably verified as true yet they don’t need to investigate or thus present the full facts – but we cannot form an accurate and fair view of issues without having the complete information about someone or something (e.g. all of an issue’s bad points as well as all of its good points).
This is why it is wise to look at multiple news sources that are independent from each other. But not many news consumers typically do this because not everyone is even aware of what political leanings which media outlets favour, or which press or news outlets are ultimately under the same international private media conglomerate or umbrella group. Or even if we do know, we tend to subconsciously prefer to actively get our news from sources that share the same political beliefs as us.
The professional press aren’t always correct, they can mislead, over-exaggerate and/or be misled themselves, but they do tend to be much better than mere gossip, social media ‘news’ or ‘alt news’ sources – they certainly (well depending on whether they’re controlled by a single monopoly or not) overall provide a very critical service to society to expose people, corporations and governments whenever they do questionable things. Woof!
Traditional mainstream and mass media sources of information are important yet they have their flaws, such as often oversimplifying issues to try to make them more understandable and quick-to-grasp for their target markets (which might be a market that isn’t very patient and has lots of other competing sources of interest to potentially take their attentions away at any moment). Media firms also tend to have major investor interests to appease. However, the unregulated or under-regulated social media sphere, extremely-partisan websites and groups with strong narrow agendas, online comments sections or forums, ‘alt fact’ sources, echo chambers and other outlets or sources that aren’t subject to enforced or even voluntary journalistic standards are (in general) far worse! And people have been increasingly relying on these latter types of sources to get their news nowadays.
Independent/external press industry regulation, and internal self-regulation, both have their pros and cons. For example, we want freedom of speech so don’t want external control over what the media reports on – but false/fake news and media fraud is seriously rife and this isn’t good for society, including in democracies. We also do need to protect people’s privacy from e.g. phone tapping or hacking practices (these sorts of mistakes must be learnt from and not be allowed to be repeated). Therefore it requires a careful balancing act – an ideal press regulator must be completely independent, not merely voluntary to join and not toothless in the face of preventing and tackling scandals.
Different countries have different compositions to their press or news industries, and different individual press or news outlets have different levels of bias, whether intentional or not. Furrywisepuppy doesn’t expect nor want readers of this blog to rely solely on the information presented in this blog to shape their furry views but to use it as just one independent source of many. Relying on multiple reputable sources that follow academic or journalistic standards is how I like to learn things myself.