News gives us essential information, while truth is complex, debatable, and often subjective.
This is an excellent question and a tough one to answer. According to the Pew Research Center, newsrooms are 77 percent white, which seems disproportionate at first glance. But according to 2021 census data, the United States is, indeed, 76.3 percent “white alone.” But data is subjective, and newsrooms do not reflect the racial makeup of the country in less-quantifiable but equally important ways. Let’s break these down.
Humans are storytellers. We like narratives that take the random chaos of life and put it into a coherent structure. The alternative is too difficult to live with: a world where nothing adds up to anything, nothing results from anything else, and people are just free-floating organisms in a sea of other organisms with nothing to connect them.
Wingnuts generate profits, but only if we watch them.
Social media effectively is the news now. So how do we make sense of this house of mirrors?
It depends entirely on what we mean by “information” and how we use that information. Following outlets known to be overtly biased or propagandistic can be essential for understanding the current debate on vital topics like climate change, the U.S. presidential elections or the #metoo movement. But that does not mean they are reliable sources of actionable information.
People are, by definition, subjective. Each of us has our own lens on the world, filtering experience and information through our own individual psyches. That’s what makes us human, rather than robots.
Studying journalism in school can expedite your career, allowing you to acquire certain skills in the classroom that others who didn’t study journalism have to learn on the job.
To start, the word “appease” may be too strong in this context. But that doesn’t mean that, sometimes, in the real world, the wall between corporate interests and journalistic independence can be compromised.
If you can control what people know, then you can control what they think.