Now here is a controversial topic that I have had a lot of thoughts about – and not just because my partner loves to drag me into conversations about it.
I have given up on trusting mainstream media (MSM) news sources a long, long time ago – something I’ve recently noticed – due to the inherent biases behind the industry. I will say with confidence that I do not trust mainstream media. Unfortunately for breaking news stories, it can be hard to find information as they are usually first on the scene, taking any leads and speculating about them to draw out stories.
I do wish that Australian media was much less biased, but I can admit that I’m also glad our media is not as sensationalist as the US media’s industry seems to be. Our current affair programs are usually the worst it gets, where it seems that every news source in the US has that kind of dramatic spin on even the most basic of news programs – Fox being one of the biggest perpetrators of this kind of culture.
So it comes as no surprise that more and more people find themselves turning to alternate media sources to find their information, pass the time, and entertain themselves. MSM sources no doubt believes that the freedom of information from these sources, such as youtubers, podcasters and streamers, can be seen as a threat to their profits – as people are finding the honesty, the uncensored opinions, and the freedom to have differing points of view refreshing – as well as the fact that a lot of journalism is held to strict guidelines which none of these alternative sources have to adhere to, so it is free of the spin, the drama, and the pandering to media executives.
A great example of this would be the way the Wall Street Journal has consistently launched campaigns attacking youtube giant, Pewdiepie – as highlighted back in our week one studies.
The advent of Wikileaks has been essentially crucial to this uprising of independent sources against MSM – once again, mostly due to the fact that wikileaks regularly releases confidential and controversial information to the public, without fear of reprisal. This information cannot be regurgitated by MSM for fear of losing their jobs and being sued. Independents, however, have no such fear.
Of course that’s not to say that all these alternative sources should have their words taken as absolute – but that’s the beauty of the internet. It is an open book and you should take everything with a grain of salt – particularly due to the fact that information has the tendency to go viral very quickly, even if it is fake. But with this, also comes the opportunity to do your own research rather than relying on MSM as your main news source.
Credibility has become a complex topic in this modern world – especially with the rise of parody media sources, such as The Onion.
But as previously stated, that’s the beauty of the internet. The credibility no longer lies within the confines of journalistic integrity – as I believe that has long since died, especially with the rise of fear being perpetuated in the media. The integrity and credibility of journalistic research lies within the viewer, who now has the power to research themselves and form their own educated opinion.