As Peter Griffin would say "that really grinds my gears."
I am referring to the lack of intellectual curiosity that exists in today's society. In particular, I read comments on a Facebook post this morning about a local television station leaning more heavily on Minnesota news, rather than Iowa news.This despite the fact that they have been located in Iowa for many years.
I will not get into the demographics and money that likely triggered this move—both figuratively and literally—but I would like to address the comment (s) that appeared following the initial post: That's okay, I get my news onllne anyway.
I inferred that they were not talking about purchasing a subscription to a legitimate news gathering site, that adheres to the same standards as traditional journalism. But, rather they were talking about social media, and websites of questionable repute.
If this last election taught us nothing, it is that social media sites are ripe for the spreading of fake news, at worst, and targeted news, at best.
When your "news feed" is spooning you information you have been determined to be predisposed to agree with, not only are you only getting a part of the picture, but it is reinforcing your beliefs—making real news seem ludicrous.
Maybe it is because I make my living in a traditional news outlet. Maybe it is because this happens to be National Newspaper Week and my senses are heightened. But, thoughts and actions such as this worry me tremendously.
I will admit that I too, look at Facebook and other websites and read things of interest. But, I also do two other things that I do not believe is the norm (but should be): 1.Take what I read with not just a grain of salt, but a wheelbarrow full—even if I believe or agree with what I am reading; and, 2. Cross reference what I see with other sources. Unless these are news industry sites (Newspapers, specifically) I do not trust that they put in the time, effort and resources to fact check. I also do not believe they are not trying to push an agenda with their writings.
You see, anyone can put anything on the internet. But real news outlets have their name, integrity and values of which to think. Everyone wants to make money, and putting any information out there without doing the basic homework, is by far the cheapest, but not the best.
The old saying that you get what you pay for is appropriate. Unfortunately in our instant gratification society, instant "news" if likely here to stay. Whether we pay attention is up to us.