Journalism is being revamped, and that’s awesome. Seriously, how else are we going to be able to think for ourselves if our main source of ‘trusted’ information can’t be trusted anymore? Yes the Internet provides for an amazing wealth of information, but let’s be honest – it would still be nice to have news networks we could 100% trust.
And while the industry is doing it’s part, I’d like to offer a humble reflection on what I think the part of the public should be. After all, at the end of the day, newspapers have to sell to remain viable.
First, I think we need to wean ourselves off our addiction to sensationalism. There certainly is a thrill to watching a newscast following, say, a balloon in the sky with supposedly a little boy in it. But wasting an entire day to this, especially when it turns out to be a hoax, doesn’t seem to be the best use of one’s time.
Second, we need to develop an interest in not only watching the news, but understanding it and acting upon it. After all, what’s the use of listening to report after report of what is going wrong in the world if we don’t understand why it’s happening and are not taking steps to contribute positively to making the world a better place?
Third, we have to learn to identify underlying biases, because let’s be honest: everyone has them, and even the best of journalists cannot help but inject some of their own selves into their reports, however faint the mark might be.
Fourth, we need to learn to share our personal analysis’ with each other, for the simple reason that we are not able to read every single bit of news about every single thing that is happening in the entire world. If we build a network of interested people who are able to read everything about one little subtopic analyze it systematically and present their analysis’ in, for example, a blog (look at the coincidence) – seriously, how awesome would that be? And we don’t have to have huge, scholarly presentations. Just look at the amazing work websites like Crooks & Liars are doing, and the work that shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report are doing. Let’s bank on these successes already!
Fifth, we need to be able to stop fighting with each other, trying to prove the others wrong, and learn to consult with each other. The truth is huge and we can only hope to solidly grasp a certain part of it. Were we to share or opinions, might we not come to have an even more solid understanding of the truth?