We often hear the argument that we cannot paint an entire population of people with the same brush– an argument shared by many groups and social infrastructures including the Black Lives Matter movement, Muslims and law enforcement. Many claim that an entire community should not be held responsible for the heinous acts of a few. The media is no exception to this claim.
First, the media is a very broad term. It is a multifaceted entity that has a range of mediums to deliver information to the public. Blockbuster movies, small town newspapers and 30 second clips on Facebook are all apart of the changing landscape of media.
Before the Internet, there were a limited amount of TV and radio broadcasts and newspapers that the public paid attention to, therefore ratings and circulation wasn’t a problem.
Today, those same newspapers and broadcasts are battling with other news agencies who have structured the distribution of their stories through social media—a significantly faster and more popular medium.
Take The New York Times as an example of an older news agency that adapted graciously to new technology. They now boast 1.1 million print and digital subscribers — more than any news publication to this date. This is the same agency that suffered a 50 percent decrease in advertisements 10 years ago and were on the verge of bankruptcy.
One of the ways that The Times has increased their digital readership is by partnering with Facebook to automatically publish articles to their Facebook news feeds. This means, what The Times is reporting is being pushed towards the public whether they want to be exposed to those ideas or not.
The public has to be mindful of where they are getting their information and learn how to weave through the information that is being pushed towards them — sometimes without their consent.
To argue that the entire field of media is lacking in its reporting is unfair. Agencies like Reuters and Associated Press have journalists scattered across the world working around the clock to bring ethical, substantive and reliable stories to your screens.
Explore different media outlets outside of American media. Al-Jazeera, Voice of America and BBC are all agencies who cover a wide range of news, including issues Americans are facing.
Al-Jazeera has expanded their prescence on social media through a new branch within their brand called AJ+. It provides short videos on an array of issues pertinent to the U.S. and overseas. It caters to the new type of news consumer who want information at a faster rate, but with the same level of accuracy.
The stories are out there. People are reporting on them. As a viewer or reader, you must actively engage in the world around you. Do not just accept the information that is being thrown at across your screens.