“ Journalism justifies its own existence by the great Darwinian principle of the survival of the vulgarist. ” — Oscar Wilde
There has been alot of discussions in my house recently about Sensationalism vs Fact. The recent Australian Elections had set a new landscape for Australian media I feel. We went to the lowest points I have seen. Now I am a factual person and I love Data Science and crunching numbers… Nothing was being reported no facts no realities just people pulling up the most attention grabbing headlines. Now flash to a shock jock whose aim is to use sensationalism to grab the attention of its listeners… There is no facts discussed or rarely and what you are left with is polarized views and no discussion of facts.
I am constantly taken back with the lack of facts in news and the increase of "Opinion" pieces… look seriously if I want an opinion I look to personal expert analysis on blogs… The news should be about a reporting of facts, it should not be to drive sides between people or to persecute for political or financial gain.
Why am I worried you ask? Because I believe people are intelligent if they have the right information and if I look around at the current polarization of media reports is creating this "Us" vs "Them" mentality. It means that the common person is not getting access to the facts. Rather then a report of IPCC analysis for example we are shown a panel of opposing ideals, not the facts? and the trend I am seeing is an increase in aggressive comments and talk which is leading to both sides of a discussion not being heard and points getting lost and people not getting the education and opportunities to learn and grow together.
In a world where facts are left out for Sensationalism we all become losers, and at the end of the day the Media engine suffers because people and new generations lose touch and do not see the relevance. But news is an important part of society aka sharing information? I wish journalists started taking some responsibility for there share of propaganda and sensationalism because at the end of the day that is what it is propaganda. If you want to write an opinion piece state it as such, but please do not present lies as facts and remember with the internet your news will reach a global market act responsibly and do your research please?
This recent thinking has lead me to examine myself and to ensure that I am helping with the sharing of Facts and if I do share opinions to try to mention/state it as such? I am not sure if I am the best example of this but I am trying and life is a learning experience but like with all experiences it is best understood when your actioning it)
What we can Do? What we can do is to fact check and research, if you read something that you think is important look at other peoples reports. Look into the person, policy, company, situation more spend some time on google and see what you can find. Remember that one piece of information is just one piece and seek to find more. Before you jump to hate, fear or loathing take a breath and think about who your getting your information from? What is their agenda? Did you get the facts you where after? Did you double check that?
What if we dont want to check? If we dont feel like checking or you go I can not be bothered thats ok, just remember until you have you can not be sure and therefore be open to hearing other points of view? aka dont fact block just because you dont want to fact check?
We need Reason? We are facing some very deep truths about the increasing complex nature of the world we live in and the world we have created. Now more then ever we need to be dealing with facts in order to come up with accurate solutions to ensure we are working towards the future? and not dragging ourselves back into the past?
*Yes this is an opinion piece or maybe even a plea for reason :)