News flash: The truth can be unflattering

‘Umbrella of negativity’ unfairly labels reliable news, media organizations

STAFF EDITORIAL

When you hear the words “the media,” what comes to mind? For most, these words are affiliated with negative emotions. The question then becomes: why do the people often view “the media” in such a negative way?
What exactly is it about the media that doesn’t sit well with the public? The media has one job, which is to deliver unbiased, factual information to the public. When some news sources and broadcasters stray away from this ideal, the line defining truth becomes blurred. Because of these certain news sources, the relationship between the people and the media weakens.
It’s our duty, as the media, to report the truth to the public. We must delve into the depths of situations to gather and uncover information to report to the people. Perhaps the biggest problem nowadays is the way that certain parts of “the media” have begun to sensationalize the news that they report.
These days, readers are more interested in tragedy. So, to appeal to most readers, news outlets have begun to focus on profit and views rather than their duty to report facts. Readers enjoy hearing about tornadoes, rape, murder, political scandals and very rarely can a news outlet survive reporting solely on the new coffee shop down the street.
The focus for some of these organizations is not to report the truth, but to instead sensationalize. Their focus has shifted into gaining the most readers or viewers, even if it’s not entirely by truth. They seem to stretch the truth and bend it to gain profit and popularity, but doesn’t that stray from our duty as the media?
The media has begun to think that their new duty is to entertain the public. In order for the public to care about what’s going on in their community, it seems as though they need to be shocked. That in itself is shameful. Why does the public need a rape or murder to happen in order to be interested in what’s going on in their local community? Why can’t they just be interested in what’s being reported, shocking or not, for the pure need to know?
When every station and company is categorized under the negative term “the media,” it hurts even the very best reporters and the most reliable sources. Rather than focusing on the positives that these “true news” outlets are doing, the public is instead focusing on the negative aspects of the job itself. This umbrella effect of negativity is not fair to those who have kept true to the morals of good reporting.
Additionally, not every news source is exactly the same. When one news outlet reports using a certain amount of facts, another may report on the same story, but use different information. For example, if CNN and Fox News both report a story about former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, but use different amounts of information, the more detailed story may seem biased to the reader.
Reliable media is so much more than making a headlining story and having the best ratings. Reliable media should be stations and outlets reporting just for the sole reason of getting the information out there. There shouldn’t have to be any makeovers done to the story in the hopes that it will gain the best ratings or the most views. Facts are inherently unbiased, but they don’t always fit your favorite narrative.
The entire world revolves around this idea of “the media,” but constantly undermines it to be such a negative thing. In reality, without the media, what would the world know? Instead of belittling media outlets as a whole, hold those who have strayed from their duty accountable for their actions.