It feeds us with information- whether true/false, right/wrong. It has lead to many deaths as well as saved so many lives. It has even been used to start wars. With a click of a button, you can experience Europe from Africa. Religions, tribes, countries rise against each other because of it. Agree to it or not, the media is and remains one of the tools shaping our world today both positively and otherwise.
Negative or sometimes titivated information sells and spreads like wildfire and the media has numerous applications of this because according to some, it is where the bulk of the money lies. For instance, In one day, I turned on the TV for a News bulletin and was greeted with a story and pictures on a gruesome murder. I sought for solace on my Facebook wall only to be slapped with another slightly skewed version of a story I read earlier. I felt Twitter would be any better but as usual, some biased political activists were having a field day, dishing out articles upon articles to mar a prospective governor's chances of winning an election. This got me thinking: Is there still an iota of truth in the world? In their song 'Where is the love', The Black Eye Peas sang: " ...Wrong information always shown by the media, negative images is the main criteria. Infecting the young minds faster than bacteria, just wanna act like what they see..." Younger Nigerians who are keen on subscribing to the herd mentality picks up this stories, adds their own touch of "creativity" to it and we get more confused.
In this age of Technology, Blackberry, iPhones, iPads etc, everything seem to have gone online, it is not uncommon for an individual to get information of the happenings around them from the internet i.e Blogs, Online magazines and even News websites and all these complements the numerous newspapers, magazines, television and radio stations we have in our world today.
The question remains: How accurate and honest are the information we digest from the media? The nature and type of these information could be based on certain factors. For example, most of the information and news we get from the media has to do with the people and the affairs of government. The government might want to convince people to support their policies and this could lead to its liaison with journalists or even media outlets thereby suppressing certain kinds of information while pushing forward those that could sound or seem pleasing to the citizens and portray them(the government) in good light.
In our world today, there are a thousand and one media outlets but they are owned and controlled by a small but powerful number of corporations which exerts a strong influence on the type of stories to be covered, nature of stories covered and how stories are covered, all tailored to suit the corporation's objectives. In such case, there is nothing like freedom of the press and as A.J Liebling asserts "Freedom of the press is limited to those who own one." Also, advertising seems to be the primary source of revenue generation for most media outlet and even the sole source for others. Understandably, these media outlets are tasked with promoting the business and style of management of their advertisers while suppressing news stories that cast a negative light on the sponsors.
I won't forget to add that due to competition, most media outlets end up putting up images, videos or audio's that are selected just to shock or titillate their audience or viewers sometimes shoving the relevant information aside.
To answer that aforementioned question - Is the media really trustworthy? The answer is YES & NO depending on you - the audience, the listener, the viewer.
Yes because it is one major source of information and you just can't help but pay heed to it unless you prefer to remain uninformed and not current.
And No on the other hand because we in one way or the other form part of what we put up there or what we refer to as the media. So as rational beings, we should weigh this information, some of them could be false but only a critical look at them would reveal this falsehood.
Even why I still maintain that not every information gotten from even the so-called reputable news or information sources are true, objectivity is still key.
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