In the age of the fake news epidemic with high political tension, we need a solution that allows the truth to be more easily attainable. As a nation, we feel we can no longer trust the mainstream media to dish out the truth because of its own biases. However, shutting down biased media, or media that does not reveal the complete truth, is not the solution.
One of the benefits of living in this time period is the plethora of information that can easily be obtained. It is the responsibility of the consumer of media to decide whether they believe something. Audiences are not doing enough if they do not bother fact-checking a story rather than taking it at face value. At the same time, it is not enough to solely rely on voices from one side of the political spectrum to discover the truth. The reality is both parties are guilty of running a story in a light that makes its position look better.
Audiences either do not have the time, effort or patience to look further into stories the media pitches to us. In fact, many in our generation do not even know how to find primary documents, let alone actually read them. If an audience member does not actually read a bill Congress passes and instead relies on what their political party’s media platform has to say about it, that constituent can never know for certain what was in that bill.
As a society, we have to learn to find resources for ourselves and discern truth from propaganda. We cannot solve the issue of fake news by infringing upon the rights of people or corporations. We have to stop blaming media for lying to us and start blaming ourselves for not further investigating into major issues.
A journalist’s duty is to communicate to the masses what is happening in the world. While it may be true that the media currently does not do a stand-up job of communicating why or how things are happening, it does give us an idea of what is going on and what we need to investigate further.
I challenge readers to question what they see being spit out by media and their own research to discover the truth. I urge readers to understand that just because media does not tell the whole truth, it does not give us the right as a nation to shut them down. The First Amendment applies to every citizen of the United States. We do not have the right to infringe upon the freedom of the press simply because we do not like the way the system is working.
– Nellie Perry is a journalism sophomore