I read an usurp of the New York Times every day. I joined their email list to stay informed on current events.
I haven’t watched the news in years. I think a part of me wants to remain ignorant rather than read of death and corruption, but that was a tiny part of my choice. In actuality, I stopped watching the news because I could no longer trust the information provided to be fair and exact, without being blemished by “big media” opinion.
I subscribed to the Times believing a reputable newspaper wouldn’t influence its readers political or moral issues, but share the facts unbiasedly.
According to the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), journalists strive toward exchanging information that is accurate, fair and thorough, to ensure that free press is guaranteed to protect our First Amendment.
Then why do I feel violated?
I feel violated when protecting the First Amendment means the media uses their rights to influence its readers’ minds. It is akin to brainwashing.
I estimate this world is on a downward spiral, filled with people who expect a like-minded society to rule, as they inform the public through persuasion rather than producing unbiased truth. In an under-educated society the truth is easily manipulated, and minds are swayed, but we aren’t under-educated compared to countries like Afghanistan that have an average of 3.8 years of education per student (2017). In fact, in 2017 American citizens averaged 13.4 years of schooling per student (Our World in Data).
Is ‘fair’ and ‘accurate’ reporting even possible without bias? Should the ‘people’ be persuaded by unbiased journalism? The New York Times claims they, “help you make sense of the world.” Whose sense our they trying to help? Ours, or the one they would have us believe. I feel justified in saying that I’ll plan my path, making judgments that are uniquely mine, while reading the edges of news reports to keep a heads up.