The more I think and write about bias and things of that nature in today’s modern media sources the angrier I become. People rely on news stations and different channels as their resources to what is going on in the world and it is extremely important. Whether it is intentional or not, news casters or anchors are doing an enormous disservice to the American people by having any sort of bias opinion when reporting on stories.
I think a huge problem that we see a lot today is simply whether or not a news station chooses to air a story at all.
I have seen this occur very often recently and especially in regards to the current presidential race that is going on. This goes for both liberals and conservatives. I think both sides simply refuse to report on stories of the opposite candidates side or refuse to talk about how well the other one is doing.
News outlets should be required to report on any important or critical moments in an election and to report them as facts, completely omitting personal opinions or beliefs on the topic. I think a lot of this happens unintentionally and I am giving them the huge benefit of the doubt but there should still be people up top who oversee what stories are being talked about.
My cousins obviously have the best intentions when it comes to their business and website, but does the media when it comes to reporting stories?
We Will Never Know
Unless there is a full blown whistle blower telling everything about what goes on behind the scenes at media stations, I really don’t think we will ever know if the obvious bias we see in media outlets are totally intentional or if their opinions and views are naturally shaping their stories.
Personally, I think it is a little bit of both. It is almost impossible to talk about politics or certain stories without coming off as having some sort of preconceived bias or idea about said politics. I think that a lot of news anchors or big news outlets are in the business that they are in because of the passion that they feel for the subject. This is totally find and is something that you would hope to expect.
I think it would be completely naive to think that the guys way up top don’t have their wallets in mind when they are watching their stations report on news. I think that most news channels and media outlets have a certain demographic that they can almost always count on to watch their shows. Keeping this in mind, I am sure that the executives up top make sure that they keep their demographic watching no matter what, which can lead to certain bias in reporting stories and news.
I think I have been a little guilty of doing this here at Modern Media…
Yesterday I talked about one of my favorite TV shoes in the world, South Park and talked a little bit about how people take advantage of their popularity to create fake news stories talking about them to get readers and get people riled up.
Well I was having dinner at my Aunt and Uncle’s house yesterday for a small family party and I don’t even know how but this story got brought up but it did and my cousins starting talking a little bit about their job and how this kind of stuff happens all the time. It kind of chimes in perfectly with that small roofing company I mentioned on here a few posts back.
My cousins, Walter and Dale, are identical twins and are both around 30 years old (I’m embarrassed that I don’t know their exact age; sorry guys if you’re reading this!). They own their own little business and basically do any kind of construction work on homes, but their main business is roofing and have a website for it at proroofersco.com. I immediately thought of that small roofing company I brought up a few posts back so naturally started asking questions about what went into getting their name out there and what kind of restrictions they had when making their website and their business.
So just to give you an idea of what they do, they said that they make the most money when they install metal roofing so obviously they try and market themselves the most for that but they also do repairs to asphalt shingles which they don’t make as much money from. Neither of them went to college and have always done some sort of construction job or blue collar work as long as I have known them.
They are the best guys ever and pretty awesome at what they do. I love that they have a chance to get their name out there thanks to the ease of access to media and other outlets out there today.
You Never Know
So you might be wondering why I am bringing this up. Well, I was really curious about what Walter and Dale had to do in order to get their website up and their company out in public. Guess what they had to go through…
Anything can be put up on the internet and if they wanted to, they could just add a million things on to their website to get people to go there. Remember the posts I had about Click Bait (I promise that isn’t click bait :))? Well any company really can put whatever they want on their site to get people to click which is kind of scary.
I’m sure it isn’t as common for businesses or whatever to make up stuff on their website, but it is still something to think about.
A huge thing that is scary about how easy it is for any kind of media outlet, or anyone at all for that matter, to spread downright lies around like wild fire and anyone who reads it really has no idea how credible the source is. I am not talking directly to any news station or even any news in general. I am talking about the fact that anyone who has access to a computer, or now a smart phone, and the internet can create any story they want and simply push “publish” and BOOM; it is out for the world to see.
I am sounding more and more like an angry pessimist on this thing, aren’t I?
One of My Favorites; South Park
So unless you live under a rock, I am sure you know what South Park is and I really hope I don’t need to explain it to anyone. But for anyone that isn’t a hardcore fan like me, they recently had an article called “You’re Not Yelping” which was basically an episode just DESTROYING Yelp and the people who complain on it and it was absolutely brilliant and hilarious.
Well about a week after the episode aired, there was a story floating around all over social media and the internet that Yelp was suing South Park for $10 million for slander or defamation. I thought this was hilarious and everyone thought it was legit.
Fast forward a week and it turns out that the story was completely made up by who the hell knows and had zero truth to it. Apparently the website who posted it just changed 1 letter or character in their URL so it looked like a credible news site and no one had any idea.
As much as I would love to believe something like having a peer review board would help eliminate some of the bias that we are seeing far too often in today’s media, I like to consider myself realistic here at Modern Media. When I really think about about having something like that put in place my brain just immediately starts thinking of how inevitable it would be before the board started getting paid off by big corporations and the whole thing would just be a waste of time.
I really need to work on my attitude sometimes…
It Is What It Is I Guess
Even though I like to act as though I steer clear and avoid certain media outlets today I have to be honest with my readers. I am pretty guilty of watching them all and I just can’t help it. Things like click bait gets me all the time and even though I have talked about how much I hate certain stations like Fox News, I find myself watching them and checking out their websites almost every day. The reasons I watch them might be different from others, but I do watch it and find some form of entertainment from them.
So I guess as a whole, we really have to take the good with the bad as far as media outlets and certain ways that we get our voices heard go. Remember these guys?
Little companies like this wouldn’t stand a chance if it weren’t for the ease of getting information out to the public these days. I would much rather have these circumstances than them not having a chance at all.
So now that we’ve discussed certain forms of media and platforms out there today and how they have their benefits and their not so benefits here at Modern Media I think I can start talking about some things that I would maybe do differently if I had it my way.
In an attempt to make things less biased and more based on facts for viewers and not just opinions when it comes to more serious news stories such as politics, I think it would be awesome if news channels or websites had to submit their stories to a small panel for a quick peer review, kind of like what credible and legitimate scientists and psychologists have to do before their research is published. The peers would have to consist of people who have gone through some sort of training or have a lot of credibility when it comes to seeing facts and distinguishing biases.
I guess something like this would be next to impossible to do for news channels on TV because most of the stories that are aired are almost immediately following what actually happened. But for things like newspapers or for stories that have been in the works for a long time I think having a panel of professionals quickly review the piece would have a tremendous positive impact on far as credibility goes with the news.
This is just me throwing ideas out there, I really haven’t thought about too many details into this thing. Who knows how applicable it could actually be in the real world but hey at least I’m trying, right?
Now that I have started talking a little bit about some of the benefits of today’s media outlets I figured I would try and keep this little positive gravy train rolling with this one.
Gives The Little Guy A Chance
What I really love about the accessibility of media today and advertising in particular, is that smaller and local businesses actually have a chance at getting their name out there. Now that we have the internet, Facebook, Google, and every other thing that people go to everyday, family owned businesses are actually getting a shot to make a name for themselves.
Watch this video for example:
So this obviously isn’t some big roofing corporation and from what I can tell they are probably a smaller family owned business trying to make it. With something as accessible and easy to use as YouTube giving people a chance to have their video or whatever it may be they want seen by millions of people is a great thing.
On The Other Hand…
This easy access obviously has its downsides to it as well. Even though I am sure the majority of people use this access for good, there are definitely a lot of people who abuse this and sometimes even for evil things.
ISIS, for a horrific example, uses Twitter and other social media accounts to spread their hatred and down right stupidity around the globe which I don’t need to explain why is a bad thing.
But like everything in this world, we have to take the good with the bad and Modern Media Outlets are no exception.
I noticed that pretty much everything so far has been just me moaning and complaining about the various news outlets out today so decided to change directions a little bit and talk about at least one thing that is a positive with certain forms of media and for people to get their news.
One thing I will say is primarily a positive impact is how easily and quickly people of this generation have access to pretty much any news story that is out at the moment.
Anyone reading this that does not have one of these? I would say a good 9 out of 10 people own a smart phone and probably spend more time than they should on it. I’m not sure how many people out there actually use their smart phones for getting news stories, but for those who want to like me it is amazing. Whenever I hear of a story or see something that’s interesting all I have to do is pull out my phone and do a quick google search and BAM; there’s my news.
Back in the day I can’t even imagine what it was like without smart phones or the internet. People had to wait to either get their news papers or just happen to be by a radio to have any idea of what’s going on. I think I would have liked to live in more simpler times like this. Not as many distractions from what’s going on in the media today
After my post yesterday on click bait, I thought more about it and went to various social media websites to check out what I saw and it was very depressing.
They’re All Guilty
I think it is safe to say that Facebook is probably the most popular and most used social media outlet that there is today. Myspace was the first and the one that revolutionized and probably completely introduced social media and Facebook just came in and completely took over. I can’t think of anything before Myspace so don’t quote me on that but I think it had to have been. The internet hasn’t been out for that long has it?
There have been a number of other companies coming out of the woods after Facebook exploded and wanted their own little chunk of the enormous pie that had been introduced and unfortunately for sources of actual and credible media today, the line between legitimate and not got even more blurry.
Twitter is no different and I would have to say that it is probably the second largest social media out there today and I personally do not have an account with them so I was curious to check them out.
The majority of what I saw was exactly what I expected, more click bait. Everyone had some stupid little quote or saying that is supposed to rev you up and make you click on whatever link they posted. I don’t think this is morally right and I am afraid for younger generations who don’t go anywhere else for their news outlets. Modern Media is starting to sound like a cranky old man aren’t I?
Anyone else notice a seemingly huge increase in the amount of “click bait” you are seeing on Facebook and all over the internet these days? Especially on any news stories you see with Donald Trump’s face attached to it. Well I sure as hell do and I think this is another way for modern media outlets and big companies to get their news across which I think is disgraceful.
Alright, so I am not going to go as far as saying that Facebook is an official outlet for news but unfortunately for a huge number of people of this generation it is the ONLY news outlet that they have or even bother to look at. I think this is especially dangerous because of the way Facebook is set up. There is obviously money is advertising when it comes to the majority of news stories you see that pop up on your feed and these companies are laying everything out and on the line in the hopes that you are going to click that link.
I think all media these days can be seen as a form of click baiting in that any way you look at it, people like to see crazy stuff on the news and regardless of how bias it may be it will get the ratings that the TV producers and executives drool over and demand.
I hope I am not guilty of any click baiting here at Modern Media