Can We Trust the Media?
Most media that is published is in some way contorted in a way to reflect the view of the person who wrote the media text, no matter how much they try to deny it. This leads to the question ‘Can we trust the Media?’
On the bright side, we can. News outlets desperately try to obtain the latest news stories through any way they can; they send countless of journalists and reporters to the same scene, equipped with microphones and cameras. The media can be trusted as they often report the truth; in recent events, the news has largely been accurate in reporting the terrorist attacks in Tunisia, France and Kuwait. For example, both Sky News and the Telegraph [1&2] explain that ’30’ people have been confirmed as British victims of the attack. This shows that the news is trustworthy as two different sources have confirmed a statistic which cannot be made up. Furthermore, when an important and large scale event occurs, the media is mostly accurate in the news that it reports. However, for other segments of the media, such as news regarding celebrity life, the reports are often inaccurate or completely fabricated.
The media often invent a news story in hopes that it will be popular and generate a profit. A survey showed that 6 out of 10 people believe the media , which is a positive statistic as the media often fabricates stories. For example, as seen in the documentary Starsuckers , news organisations believed made-up information that had no evidence or facts. For example, a false story of Amy Winehouse’s hair being set alight was published despite the news organisations to looking into the story to see whether or not it was true. This extends to news organisations buying stories about medical information, which, under the Data Protection Act of 1998, is illegal to obtain or buy without the owner’s permission. The constant need for news organisations to maintain relevant and popular leads to them buying any story that is controversial or fake.
In addition to this, the people who write the media have their own opinions and beliefs that they cannot prevent from influencing the text. Furthermore, the reason behind why they are writing can also influence the story. For example, a source for information in Germany called Deutsche Anwaltauskunft fabricated a story for their marketing campaign . They reported that a man had cut everything that he and his spouse shared in half after he found that the spouse was cheating. In reality the story was made up simply so that the organisation could become popular.
In conclusion, the media can often be trusted, but it’s the fabricated, controversial stories that are most often seen, which leads to the idea that the media cannot always be trusted. The source of information and the accuracy of it should be researched before believing the media text to be truthful.
- Starsuckers 2009 film by Chris Atkins