We live in the age of social media. In fact, social media has completely revolutionized the way we gather as well as process news. You only need to look at news headlines and how they evolved in the past twelve years to see that they have become more and more sensational.
For the longest time, only tabloids used very misleading headlines for their news items. They felt they need to do this because, otherwise, the broadsheets would steal their lunch, all day, every day.
Well, it looks like the tables have been turned and the old rules have gone down the toilet because now, even seemingly completely legit news sources like CNN engage in such behavior. In fact, even the BBC, which is a government news organization that really has no financial incentive to engage in such practices find themselves susceptible to exaggerated headlines. What’s going on?
Well, it really all boils down to getting clicks. You have to remember that when you download Facebook and you’re looking through the different updates of your friends, you’re quickly scrolling through. Time is not a luxury for you. The less time you spend reading, the more effective your content browsing is.
Given this environment, it makes sense for a news organization to feature headlines that grab eyeballs, slap them and suck them into the story. The more clicks, the better. Because the more clicks go to a page, the more likely the user would see ads and this increases the likelihood that they would click on those ads to buy something or otherwise engage in any kind of behavior that leads to the news organization showing the ads making money.
Do you see how this works? Do you see how they flow together? Well, that’s the whole dynamic behind modern news. Social media and modern news are joined at the hip and the results have not been all that encouraging.
With that said, it’s very easy to get jaded and think that you are only going to get news from one or two credible sources. Well, let me tell you, if that’s how you play the game, you probably are going to end up being even more manipulated because now, you won’t be able to compare your news. There’s really no way for you to see if there is any other alternative way of looking at the same set of facts.
Also, by checking out news sites that you know are biased, you get a framework for testing the lack of bias of your main ‘go to’ sites. If you stop going to biased sites completely, you might be completely in the dark regarding the quality of your main news sources. You need something to compare your news to. Always keep such problematic sites on a list for, at least, reference or comparison purposes.
This is why you should not dismiss any news source. Even though that news source has historically been the recipient or the source of news opinions that you may not agree with, you cannot dismiss them entirely. At the very least, use them for comparison purposes to at least get to within a workable area of belief as far as your own preferred news sources are concerned. The more you compare news, the closer you will get to the truth.