Do you believe what you're told by the media?

Newspapers - Completely reliable, or do you take them with a pinch of salt?
January 20, 2007 10:47am CST
As I'm sure most people are aware, all media companies always have their own agenda, their own angle, and nowadays try to get their own message across more and more. So my question is this: how do you interpret the news you see on TV, and read in the papers? Do you look for the facts (if indeed there are any - many news items seem to be pure speculation nowadays, or just an advertisement for a "documentary" made by the news company in question). With media moguls taking over our media companies (Rupert Murdoch being one of the most widespread and influential) are newspapers and TV news broadcasts reliable anymore in your opinion? Do they try to be unbiased, or are they influenced by the owner of the newspaper? Do you try to work out the actual story from the facts you can sieve from the News, making up your own mind, or do you just find a paper or news station whose angle and outlook appeals to you, and believe what they tell you?
11 people like this
75 responses
@ritzritu (173)
• India
20 Jan 07
Toay there are lots and lots of news channel, moreover they are 24X7... so for 7days a week n 24 hours a day, its too difficult to get the sensational news so that people dnt switchover to other channel.Now wat ever news is there they add some spice n add few of their view point.Now its a sensational news..!!! No one is more powerful than media n news so why not make a wrong use of it.Thats what is all news about.I hate to watch news channel.Its just hype,hardly any fact.There are lots of important news to be telecasted,but the problem lies-its not sensational. Let me tell you something ,in india recently two very big stars got engaged,media coved this news for unlimited hours.I m saying unlimited hours because still they have'nt got married and mediaa is covering what they are going to wear on wedding,how much it costs n what not.Still its going on n on.It makes me sick. Media has got a very important role to play in society.And they should understand it.
2 people like this
• India
21 Jan 07
I copletely agree with u dear,i am least bothered abt their mattiage and i dont think many people would be.But everyone has to suffer.
1 person likes this
21 Jan 07
Thanks for your responses, and the info on what the media's like in India. It sounds like it's just as bad over there as it is in the UK! If people want to know about celebrities' relationships, that's not news, it's gossip. But news channels seem to be more interested in gossip too nowadays, as viewing figures are more important to the broadcasters than a decent quality news programme. Thanks again, and happy mylot-ing!
• United States
20 Jan 07
Hell no. The media lies all of the time, that is why research and technology came around, you have to find the truth for yourself.
2 people like this
21 Jan 07
Thanks for your response! I'm not quite sure what the correlation between the media's unreliability and the development of science is, but I agree that we all need to check other sources to find the real news!
• Pakistan
20 Jan 07
I dont completely trust their spoken news because sometime its rumor and sometime the news seems to be truth. I try to find it from other people as well that either its a fact or its just a rumor which is spreaded by the newspaper's jounalist and its just a rumor spreaded by media.
2 people like this
21 Jan 07
Thanks for your comments. I agree - it's always best to try and compare the news we get with other sources if possible - you get different viewpoints and facts then, and can make your own mind up as to what to think.
• India
20 Jan 07
Of course i believe but not all?
1 person likes this
20 Jan 07
So where do you draw the line? What do you believe and what do you reject?
• India
21 Jan 07
Sales volume is the important focus of media not the truth or fact. So, I trust real/practical news only.
1 person likes this
21 Jan 07
Jakker - Sky news is owned by Rupert Murdoch, who is one of the most corrupt players in the media game nowadays! He also owns most newspapers, and the Fox channel, so basically Sky News is another branch on his propoganda tree!
@ssh123 (31100)
• India
20 Jan 07
There is a rat race among the journalists of all kind to capture the news first and in their enthusiasm, they feed the press with stories which are half truths and some times wild guess. Habitual news paper readers or TV watchers know that no news is conclusive. Because next day there is another news, no one bothers to dig the old news, because it becomes stale. I personally do not believe all, but there are reliable news agencies like BBC.
1 person likes this
20 Jan 07
Thanks for your response. I personally (as a UK citizen) find it interesting that you still trust the BBC. I've found it to be becoming more and more about speculation, self-promotion and tabloid sensationalism, and don't think it's living up to its worldwide reputation anymore. Channel 4 news seems to be the most unbiased and most informative channel for news nowadays (in the UK anyway!)
@Jaytech (2251)
20 Jan 07
If you believe the BBC you might as well believe the muppet news service, they are so politically correct n biased towards the liberal left.
21 Jan 07
Jaytech, liberal and politically correct are not how I'd describe the BBC. Besides which, I'm talking about spin and speculation being reported as fact, and fact being ignored, not about the left or right-wing status of the BBC, rather I'm talking about its reliability and trustworthiness in its reporting all of the facts and both sides of every story. News reporting ought not to tell people what to think, but what's happening.
@sigma77 (5385)
• United States
21 Jan 07
You are right. All news is slanted toward something. I don't believe most of it. In fact I don't watch the news and hardly read the paper. So what if I don't know every little thing going on in the world? How do I know what I see and hear is the thuth anyway? Ans what can I do about all the crazies out there? If the world is coming to an end, I don't want to know. It is so refreshing not to see and hear all the negative crap that is presented in the news. My mind is free to think in terms of goodness and prosperity. I can create my own sensationalism.
1 person likes this
21 Jan 07
Good for you! Thanks for responding.
21 Jan 07
Good for you! Thanks for responding.
@superbren (856)
20 Jan 07
to use an irish expression i take the media gossip news with a pinch of salt. that means i enjoy reading it and revelling in the awful things celebrities do but i dont believe the half iof it or take it serious . they are wicked people and its a cut throat business. anyone in the public eye has to be very careful if they do something we might take for granted . if they go to a bar and get drunk it is splashed all over the paper and they are portrayed as drunkards , child neglecters and suchlike. however a lot of ordinary people do this every week but not a word is said as they re not famous .
1 person likes this
@bgreg2 (45)
• United States
21 Jan 07
Having spent 6 years in the military, my answer is no. I have been " over there", and come back, only to see the reporting being distorted for the sake of a viewing audience. The truth was no where to be found, altough having gone there, they wee very aware of the truth. Anything for a buck, and anything to make a name.
1 person likes this
21 Jan 07
Thanks for your responses! I agree with both of them. I also think though, that the gossip and celeb-based scandalmongering is to pander to ratings, whereas the distorting of facts is basically propoganda; rather than for the benefit of the viewers, it's for the benefit of the news agencies, and the politicians/businessmen with political interests who pay the wages of the news channels/programme-makers. Cheers for sharing your thoughts and experiences - here's to a healthy dose of scepticism!
• India
21 Jan 07
modt of the time i accept what media is saying but on some of the news like saddam was executed . ilike to investigate so i can get the true picture
1 person likes this
24 Jan 07
Fair enough waleed. Thanks for your answer!
@owlwings (39768)
• Cambridge, England
21 Jan 07
I look for facts and compare, for example, the BBC with ITV and Sky and also what I can find on the 'Net. It is interesting to hear the slightly different ways in which BBC and BBC World Service handle the news. It's a matter of emphasis more than anything but it is salutary, nevertheless. I certainly don't believe everything I read or hear. In fact, if it's more than just factual news, I always find myself asking what the other half of the story is.
1 person likes this
24 Jan 07
Good points, well made. Thanks for your contribution.
• Melbourne, Florida
21 Jan 07
I believe it, but I only believe that we are getting half the story. There are three sides to every story, your side, my side, and the truth that lies somewhere in between. It's been said "don't believe anything you hear and only half of what you see", this is the philosophy I follow as well.
1 person likes this
22 Jan 07
Excellent response HighPriestess. It's for that very reason that I generally read the news reports from media companies in different companies - when you've got a range of different angles, it's easier to find the logical and more realistic middle-ground. Thanks for sharing your outlook!
• Canada
21 Jan 07
no and yes but it depends on your intake if you think it is a really serious problem then you would believe it but if you think its nothing to importsnt thsn you wont believe for example paris hilton fell down, who cares life on mars damn believable.
1 person likes this
24 Jan 07
Cheers for your response and sharing your outlook on the media.
• United States
21 Jan 07
angelicEmu, Totally excellent and interesting question. I was impressed by your question. To begin with you are totally correct with your interpretation of what is going on in the media's. They certainly have their own agenda. In todays society I have found that the rule of thumb is what Corporate America wants. And as we both know media's are owned by Corporate America. As for me I watch CNN Headline News just to get a feel of what is going on at any given time. They do not bore you with their interpretation.
1 person likes this
24 Jan 07
Thanks for your response Executive. Luckily there are some independant journalists whose reports of the facts, pre-spin, are published on Reuters' website. Lack of bias is very rare though, and as you say it does tend to be corporate (and political, as they're both in each others' pockets). It just takes a little more reading-up to get to the facts nowadays.
@soccio97 (39)
• United States
21 Jan 07
Let's face it the news media only wants to sell papers or get viewers to watch their TV shows or web sites. If it is not attracting the public then it is not news. How much "good" news do you see in the media from day to day? Oh sure they tease you with the occasional "puppy being saved" but for the most part, if it's not bad then it can't be news. Consider this; a chemical factory explodes in Anywhere, USA at 8 AM. Here are the facts as we know them; we don't know if this was caused by terrorists, we don't know if there are any dangerous chemicals involved, we don't know if anyone has been hurt, we don't know if anyone is still inside and we have no idea how long it will take to bring the fire under control. So basically at 8 AM we know nothing. Yet, the station you are watching and several others, will continue to report all these non-facts for the next several hours. Then at 11:30 AM we get a "News Alert"; just before the explosion a man was seen riding a bike near the plant and carrying something in his left hand, the hand closest to the chemical plant. This "News Alert" is now good for another 3 hours and every 15 minutes when they bring it up it is still "Breaking News". I only watch the news to get the "gist" of what is going on. I reserve judgement until I feel there are enough facts available to make a dicision. The only difference is when the reporters are "Live" at the scene and are talking to someone directly involved (not the neighbor who knows someone who used to be engaged to a guy who worked at the plant) or the President or some other government representative is speaking live.
24 Jan 07
I hate the hyped-up presentation of the news too - if something's happening, it must be portrayed as earth-shatteringly catastrophic, if a cover-up is exposed, it must show a corrupt conspiracy, rotting the root of our very society. By doing away with realism and proportion, they also make issues worth debate and coverage appear frivolous and sensationalist - they pick on the non-issues and points which could be easily pulled to pieces and rant on about those rather than the salient facts and solid points which would make their case. Thanks for your response!
@samraf (725)
• India
21 Jan 07
Yes sometime there are really news that have happend in the environment but sometime people uses media to disseminate wrong impression and wrong news about a person or on some topic. Like the coincidence of Afghanistan, U.S. took the support of median and disseminate wrong impression of Afghanistan and after that it did the same with Iraq just to capture the oil fiellds of Iraq and to capture the territory of Afghanistan just to take Eastern countries under control. well sometimes media helps a lot to get news of current affaires so that people can be upto date that what is happening in this world.
24 Jan 07
Thanks for your answer. Politicians do often use the media to put about their own propoganda, and get public support.
@raveemenon (1071)
• India
21 Jan 07
Money leads the media today. It was there earlier but not this extent. They want to take the readers for granted. They make a mountain out of a molehill.still poor readers believe the whole story. Then the discussion and so on. They eye on the circulation, readership or presently viewership. See what happened in the Big Brother episode. Ultimately the channel succeeded in getting their pie.
1 person likes this
24 Jan 07
Good points. As for the Big Brother thing, I think the damage has been done, although the channel don't admit it. People just need to keep complaining to the government - that's where they get their funding after all.
• India
21 Jan 07
For me it really doesn't matter if the news is rumor, true, or anything else for that matter, because I would not make a opinion on someone on the basis of what I hear or see in the public domain. According to me the truth is always what one percieves. It entirly depends on you how you react to a particular thing. You may be right or wrong. According to me no on the planet has the right to decide what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is bad, because time is the only thing that can decide what is wrong, bad, and what is right, good.
24 Jan 07
Interesting angle you have there. I don't really think that truth is subjective - what happened, when, what someone said about it - these are all verifiable facts. How you interpret them is down to you, but that's not the truth, just your viewpoint, surely. Thanks for your contribution.
• United States
21 Jan 07
I do believe the media puts a spin on news stories or leaves out pertinent information. That's why I use the internet. It really is the "information highway." I research topics and news stories to find out all of the information.
1 person likes this
24 Jan 07
Thanks for your response. The internet can be useful in finding out the facts, but do remember that people often have their own agenda when online too!
• India
21 Jan 07
Well i can only tell abt wat is happening in the news channels n news papers in India. Well most news Channels are disgusting news is much more like a tele serials(we call them Mega serials in India). And news papers well most of them are advertiment based. But i still prefer newspapers or internet to TV. And i am least bothered abt wat the media says,as there is always an element of doubt in everything. I analyse everything and go ahead
1 person likes this
23 Jan 07
That's a sensible attitude towards the media, I think. Thanks for your comments!
@raveena (1356)
• India
21 Jan 07
Yes I do believe the Media news but not all of it coz they make it up with a lot of spice to make it sensational which will add to their TRP ratings.
1 person likes this
24 Jan 07
Thanks for your answer! I agree - the media companies do seem to be very concerned with ratings, and sensational "big" stories nowadays, don't they!
@mishald (176)
• India
21 Jan 07
everything u hear from the media, should be taken with a grain of salt. the media reflects the opinion of the people covering the story. it may not necessarily b the truth. also media people can be bought to distort the facts. so the best thing to do would be to get the story from as many sources as possible and then form your opinion
23 Jan 07
Excellent points mishald. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.