Mainstream Media: It’s Time to Switch the Channel

 

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Watching the news. This is a common household sight; a person casually flipping through the various channels and flashy screens of radiant faces popping out among bright backgrounds, informing the public on what’s what in the world. These reporters are relaying the most critical pieces of information the public is hungry to learn, the truth. Many people perceive this “truth” to be a concealment of reality with layers of propaganda added to it. Fox News, CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS are probably some of the biggest platforms of corporate media captivating people’s minds with their rapid talk and subjective commentary. When it comes to the basic fundamentals that make up the unpredictable world of journalism, there is a set code of ethics to which good news sources are supposed to abide by: objectivity, fairness, accuracy, honesty, respect, and impartiality. According to a recent Gallup Poll, 60% of Americans still hold distrust towards mass media in its capability to deliver the news at these standards. Why is this the case? Polls in the past conducted by the Pew Research Center indicate that 66% of the public deems stories as often inaccurate, 77% believing they are biased, and 80% saying networks are influenced by powerful figures and organizations.

The way a society develops viewpoints is directly influenced by the types of things they inherently learn and internalize through their consumption of media. For example, if one sees a report inaccurately displaying proportions of racial statistics regarding crime, then they may develop a bias or prejudiced mindset about that specific minority. If they constantly see the dehumanization of a religious group, they may begin to stereotype or acquire a negative connotation towards them. This unconscious association may be a factor as to why issues like racism and discrimination are still prevalent within America. Unfortunately, the universal concept that all lives being equally precious seems to no longer be applicable within mainstream media through these depictions and demeaning characterizations. Even the specific labels and terminology used is enough to spark a change of opinion in people’s hearts.

It is important for the public to realize that there are more viable options for news sources available to guide them along the path to becoming a more informed citizen.If you are curious to expand your worldview, maybe it is time to find new sources of current events to properly educate yourself. Here are some other options.

AlterNet

AlterNet is an award-winning news magazine and online community that keeps its audience accurately informed and engaged through their goals of “inspiring action and advocacy on the environment, human rights and civil liberties, social justice, media, health care issues, and more.” It gives an unbiased point of view featuring strong content and fresh outlooks on different types of stories.

The Real News Network

With a header proclaiming “NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING”, it is well-established that this is a news outlet that has not fallen corrupt to corporate greed. It provides insightful stories from all around the globe, often covering subjects and illustrating stories that are left ignored.

Al-Jazeera

This network demonstrates bold perspectives, seeking to reach people in every part of the world. Its mission is to create captivating and inspirational content that gives voices to the voiceless and a platform to those often unheard. Their aims include “rebalancing global media by respecting the diversity and humanity of the world.”

The Intercept

With bold and adversarial journalism, this online website features unique content that takes an avant-garde approach to common topics like politics and global news. Best described in their own words, their belief is that “…journalism should bring transparency and accountability to powerful governmental and corporate institutions, and our journalists have the editorial freedom and legal support to pursue this mission.”

RT

While this is a Russian network, its global viewers are enthralled with their simple objective of questioning more while tackling controversial issues such as financial and banking scandals, corporate influence on the global economy, and western demonstrations.

Media Matters For America

This progressive research center is the ultimate fact-checker dedicated to analyzing and fixing inaccurate information or claims in the news. It’s the perfect destination for anyone looking for in-depth inspections and critiques of current events and issues. It includes videos, blogs, and covers a highly diverse range of topics from presidential candidates’ statements to education and the environment.

When it comes to the news, stories are always developing and drastically taking turns. Unfortunately, our media reinforces a culture in which the benefit of the doubt is not distributed evenly, resulting in a more hostile environment for underrepresented minorities. This poses a serious question: Does the media reflect the reality of society, or does society attempt to imitate the reality shown by the media? That’s why for  newscasters and reporters, it is essential that they maintain their ethical standpoints because the future of journalism can ultimately alter citizens’ mindsets and affect the future of our country.

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