Folk who regularly read my blogs will know – I am not a big fan of mainstream media. That includes television / radio and newspaper, left and right leaning (and “neutral”), broadsheet and tabloids, and even alternative media has its limits. Sometimes they do pleasantly deliver by accurately reporting on something important that matters and if they hadn’t we would all be the poorer, but all too often we are let down, and one of the consequences, not that we should lay all blame on the media, is the population gets to be dumbed down.
News outlets report what they want to report and this is not necessarily that which I regard as most newsworthy. One friend, who is liberal leaning to my conservative leaning, when it comes to offering opinions, rightly lamented the fact that in recent days there has been a good deal of coverage given to what is happening in the US (e.g. riots and hurricanes and of course President Trump), but all too little to the Mexican earthquake and floods in Bangladesh, and the Rohingya situation in Mayamar (Burma).
I have to confess, I want to blog on all these subjects, especially the refugee crisis that is unfolding as a result of upheaval in a country I came to love (Burma) when in a previous life I was involved in installing a computer system there and training some of its users. I saw what a terribly dilapidated economy that was in operation and something of its tyrannical leadership, dominated by the military. I saw some of the ethnic and religious divides and evidence of awful atrocities. I also saw how opposition was ruthlessly dealt with and later looked on with some hope of the prospect of an enlightened democracy under Aung San Suu Kyi, yet saddened to learn of what is happening, suspecting the truth is not being reported and other elements of persecution e.g. toward Christians is hardly being covered. While mainstream media covers snippets, the overall level and depth of coverage of important happenings is poor.
Besides not reporting that which is newsworthy, and only then selective reporting of pertinent facts and perspectives, honesty in reporting is too often lacking and so is depth in investigation. I have no problem journalists and newspapers having a view on what is going on, providing that is admitted and some attempt is made to cover all the pertinent facts, and when it comes to interpretation to recognize there are alternative views and allow readers to decide.
As I often advise people, it is well to read widely and maintain a healthy skepticism. Some news media is better than others but there is little around that is outstandingly good that I can wholeheartedly recommend. It is worth taking in more than one angle, including from what is known as alternative media, and weighing these up. The aim has to be, as I recently commented, to find out something that is approaching the truth, for the truth is what sets us free.