The Dispatch

Sensationalism is taking over mainstream journalism

Photo by: Callie Richards

Photo by: Callie Richards

Jake Brien, Commentary Editor

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Let’s be honest: the media is pretty boring. For cable news stations and mainstream newspapers, they know that most people can get tired of the news. So, it really takes a lot of hard work and creativity for a decent media source to keep people invested… right?

It seems that the mainstream media sources like CNN, FOX, and even alternative ones like the Daily Kos, are more concerned with using sensationalism than telling a story like it is in order to keep viewers invested. At a time when the media is under attack from people referring to it as “fake news,” it’s important to examine how sensationalism in today’s media, specifically cable news, is only making such accusations worse.

The truth is, a 24-hour news station or website is going to run out of ideas pretty quick if the company doesn’t focus on topics that will keep viewers invested.

More viewers means more advertisers, and more advertisers means more money. While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to make money, I have a problem with media stations pandering to specific demographics, and people missing the point of journalism entirely, namely companies like a website such as the Daily Kos (liberal) and the cable station of FOX (conservative).

It’s the Daily Kos and FOX that create the stupid mindset of “it’s us versus them”, acting as though there’s a huge difference in investigative reporting and journalism between the two stations. Both of these stations are similar in that the Daily Kos deliberately targets a liberal demographic whereas FOX targets conservatives.

The point I’m trying to make here is that we as citizens of the United States of America should be better informed than what these stations provide for us. They’re keeping people in the dark from parts of stories that may interest the opposite political mindset.

What scares me is people who refuse to accept the whole truth: every, and I mean every, source of news is biased. Nothing is going to change that because humans, by nature, are biased.

In an effort to circumvent this basic principle, certain media stations try and stay as objective as humanly possible. Media sources such as the BBC (a news source based in the U.K. that reports on world news, not just in the U.K.) and CBS both try to stay objective when reporting the facts to viewers/readers, but it’s not enough.

It’s essential to be as informed as possible. Journalism is a business, and it’s important for any business to make money. We must always keep this in mind. I don’t pretend to be unbiased, but it’s my goal to be objective in how I receive news. I encourage every student reading this to have at least four sources of news (FOX, CNN, BBC, CBS, etc.) on his/her phone.

We may never know the full truth when watching or reading a news station on TV or on our phone, but what we can do is remain open to learning. Patience is crucial. So, the next time a journalist on the Daily Kos tells you about a new Trump controversy, take the time and effort to see what FOX, BBC, CNN or even Reuters has to say on the matter.

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Sensationalism is taking over mainstream journalism