Sunday, November 16, 2008

How one reader deals with MSM & Internet sources

Responding to another commenter on a post thread, JinC Regular Tarheel Hawkeye offers the following - - -

You make some excellent points, but I fear you arrive at the wrong conclusions. You posit that since the MSM is the only news source (depite knowing it often doesn't provide the full stories), I should accept it on its face. Why? Because it's the only show in town?

I try to balance my intake of information by following the stories as reported by, for example, The New York Times (left slant) and The Washington Times (right slant). Somewhere in the middle lies the truth in most cases, but it takes more deliberation and care than the average American reader is willing to devote.

Internet sources are very dicey so I don't give them much credence until I can find independent confirmation or the reports are never contradicted (John Kerry's "hero medals" are a good example--he promised to provide his complete military records some four+ years ago and we're still waiting to find out if he shot himself in the butt with an M-79 or took VC hostile fire.)

I rely even more on my knowledge and experience and apply the "smell test" to reports about politics and foreign affairs.

But I consider MSM reporting as nothing more than proselyting or downright propaganda in favor of the far left fever pits of politics in America today.

But I didn't say I don't read/watch MSM reports, I simply refuse to be a participant in the masses' willing suspension of disbelief. In fact, I find it valuable to consider anything reported by the NYT to be the exact opposite of fact--I'm right much more than wrong.

You may "be charitable and accept the information you are given," but that was the quandary the captive nations found themselves in when the only sources of "news" were Pravda and Izvestia.


Like most of the severe critics of MSM I encounter, Tarheel Hawkeye's a "news hound."

When MSM editors and others say "readers/viewers have 'drifted away from traditional news sources'" because of new technologies, they're missing or avoiding admitting the biggest part of MSM's declining reader/viewership problem.

Most readers/viewers I encounter aren't "drifting" from traditional news orgs.

They're being driven away by error-filled, aganda-first news reporting at the heart of which is arrogance that's most notable in the reluctance or outright refusal of most news orgs to quickly admit significant errors and/or omissions and then promenently correct them.

The same goes for your local paper and an evening news program.

Most people "drifting " from traditional news orgs. would love to be able to count on a few news sources which would give them as truthful a "first draft of history" as possible with the best error-correction and notation system in place to add to the reliabliity of news as first reported.

That's my say.

What do you folks think?

A thank you to TH for his comment.


Anonymous said...

I think that one has to proceed from the premise that no news organization is unbiased (despite claims to the contrary). Following from that, one then has a duty to read and listen across the spectrum. That takes time, energy, and a determination that quite honestly most people do not want to invest (for any number of reasons). It is much too easy to find a single source (generally that is in accord with one's bias) and rely upon that - hence the popularity of NPR and the NY Times on the left and Fox and Rush Limbaugh on the right.
There is also a large segment of the population which are just too lazy to even make any attempt to inform themselves (I teach with somr educators who fall into this category). I fear that this segment of the population will expand as newspapers continue to decline and the presence of more online sources of information (both legitimate and illegitimate) will only make acquisition of information that much more time consuming.