Is everything we read, see, or hear on the news true? As the old saying goes, "Believe nothing you hear, and only half of what you see." Do you think that applies to the news as well as life? How tainted are about the news media due the last presidential election campaign? Do you think the same type of biased news reporting will happen again? It's not that far away.
First, let me be perfectly clear. This is NOT a bash the news media post. No matter what the profession, there are good ones, and not so good ones. What is important is as a reader, viewer, or listener, you MUST know who and what the source is. More on that later. Let's get into it.
When we talk about sources, we are referring to where you are getting your information from. There are many sources. Many trust Wikipedia. They were and are very instrumental when it comes to reporting. Also, they know what they are reporting. Any reporter will tell you they SHOULD verify their sources. Some editors require more than one source for verification before a news story is reported. In the case of local news stations that are affiliated with a large networks such as ABC, NBC, or others, many times they get their information, meaning, information other than local news, from the network. They also get is from sources such as the Associated Press. (AP) The AP is a nonprofit news agency in NYC. They have earned many awards. They distribute news to their customers and members. Basically, many refer to them as "The Wire Service." Let's face it. No news reporting service can be in every part of the world at the same time. That is where the AP comes in handy. Look at it as a clearinghouse for worldwide news. You local news stations rely on their network and agencies such as this for their other than local news. As a local news station, they can handle the local news in their service area. However, since they are not directly verifying the accuracy of every news article they report on, they are assuming by reputation and history, the information they are reporting on is accurate. If a mistake is made, they will always correct it. However, the drawback is, if you watch the news tonight, and not tomorrow night, and a correction is made, you are walking around with the wrong information. How do we know that s true? Ask yourself this, how many times have you talked about something you heard about in the news and someone says, "That's not true. They corrected it last night?" Is that dangerous? For the most part, no. However, for critical issues such as voting, whether local or federal, finding out something was reported incorrectly after the vote, doesn't get it done.
Know the source. You might be reading something online that you think is biased when, in fact, it is not. There are tons of published news reports on the internet from sources that make it quite clear they are a conservative, liberal, left wing, or right wing publication. Are you going to get an unbiased article from them? Of course not. Are they wrong? Of course not. They are writing or speaking about certain platforms they support. These reports will NEVER be unbiased. You MUST know that going in. There is nothing illegal or unethical about this. Like it or not. It is your responsibility to know this.
With that said, let's talk about our major news networks. Just as an example, ABC News, NBC News, FOX News, CNN, CBS News, just to name a few. AND THIS IS NOT PICKING ON THEM. As viewers, we all have a belief. We believe that everything we hear on the news is true. Why not, these and others are large news agencies. Why would they NOT tell us the unbiased version of a story? First, I could care less who you voted for. It doesn't change the principal or the topic of this blog post. This isn't about your political choices, so do not make it about that. This is about the accuracy of the news. In the last election campaign, it was a known and proven fact that some news agencies were reporting about the candidates with a definite and obvious bias. The fact is, it became so bad, no one knew who to believe, and people lost faith in some news agencies. A fact, by-the-way, which is known and many articles were published about it, and some agencies even publicly apologized on-the-air for this. There is a great deal of competition within the networks. Not just for news, but also TV shows. They cannot afford to have their ratings tank. It is always easier to own up to your mistakes and gain public confidence than to keep denying the obvious and lose it forever.
WHAT'S TO COME:
Good question and no one has a crystal ball. We can only hope that those that took part in this type of deliberate biased news reporting learned a lesson from the past, and history does not repeat itself next year. Time will tell. However, you are now armed with one of the most important lessons. History. You know what to look for. Decisions you make should never be solely based on the news. Regardless of the topic. As a writer, there are hundreds of hours of research I put into books. As a retired health care provider and educator, if I had 10 cents for every hour of research I have out in, I would be the most wealthy man in the world. As a public speaker, I better have done my research because there the possibility is real that there may be someone in every audience that might know more about what you are talking about then you do. Putting aside your local news stories, DO YOUR HOMEWORK. If a topic is that important to you that you heard on the news. RESEARCH it. Look at other reports on the same story. See if they match. I have seen two different networks report on the same story, and the news reports aren't even close. It's like they are both playing ball but in two different parks. If you don't care and the particular story doesn't interest you fine. No law that states you have to care about every news story.
I am a writer. I write fiction, non-fiction, non-fictional narratives, murder mysteries, self-help books, love stories, and crime series. For most of them, accuracy is not quite as important. However, it still must be believable, unlike sci0fi or horror books. However, anything non-fiction or self-help had better be RIGHT ON THE MONEY. People buy these books with the hopes they are accurate, and they should be. That takes research, verifying data. Not from just one source, but from multiple sources. That is the reason why an author uses 'Citation's in their books. It shows and proves the data that is written about is verified and true. Have you ever heard of the word "PROFILING?" Of course, you have. Every reporting entity, every writer, every advertiser does some form of profiling. There is profiling society, a specific target set, meaning, type of audience you are targeting, and more. Law enforcement agencies rely heavily on profiling. The reason is that certain crimes, buying habits, TV shows, movies, almost anything applies to a specific type of person. When those people equal a mass, that group of people are now profiled. This making it easier to target a specific group of people, criminals, etc., rather than one individual. Every person walking the face of this planet fits into a certain profile. When it comes to news, there are profile groups. Those that watch the morning, mid-day, evening, or night news. How do I know that is true, you can tell by what commercials are on at different times of the day. What profile group they are targeting. Men, women, the person that is more directly involved with the financial spending in a household versus those that are not. Billions of dollars are spent each year developing these profile groups, and advertising agencies that specializing in know how and when to target these profile groups. The news media is no different. They know how to report something to spew it one way or another if they want it to be biased. This is a huge strategy. One that most people do not even realize exists, but it does, and it's real.
Another old saying, "There are people that can sell you anything." That is more true then you think. It may not just be because they are a good salesperson, they may simply know how to profile the group of people that would buy anything. I know people who buy things they have absolutely no use for JUST because it is on sale. Actually, you profile and do it every day and don't realize you are doing it. Every time you do something because you know EXACTLY how a person will react means you just profiled someone. The only difference is, you are doing it to one person, other agencies are doing it for millions. That my friends is the bottom line. That is how the Shepard gets the sheep to follow them. Sometimes you are the Shepard, but most times you are the sheep.
Please feel free to leave a comment, or browse the site. Book3, the final book in the Life Through A Mirror murder mystery trilogy, Life Through A Mirror-When Murder Calls, is now available. The murder mystery series is now complete and available in Print, E-book, and Audiobook. In September, my love story, When Two Worlds Collide will be released. Oh, and don't forget, A Woman's Fear-Female Abuse is a must read for every woman and yes, even men. . All my books are available on all major online bookstores. This year we have branched out and opened a video production company, Altech Videos. Feel free to click on the name and check us out. My YouTube channel and Vimeo channels are growing. Feel free to check them out and subscribe to them if you would like. All the links to my different platforms are below. Most of what I do as a writer revolves around my connection to my readers, so, LET'S CONNECT.
Thank you ..... Caesar Rondina
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