How digital journalism broke America

As technology changes so does the way we get our news. It use to be that everyone would tune into their favorite news channel and watch for an hour about what was going on in the world. Now that we have the power of internet we have a new overflow of information at our fingertips. To get news out the best and fastest way would be to put it on the internet.

This brings a new job called online journalism. This new job also comes with a variety of ways to get the information that you want out. For example you can have slide shows, videos, blogs, or photos.

papyrus_website2Because the internet has become so popular it  has made some companies either shut down for good or file for bankupacy. As more and more people are turning to the internet to get their daily or weekly dose of what is going on in the world. Fewer newspapers are actually getting printed. Some companies have gone so far that they will only post online and they will not print out a copy for readers.

With the dying out of physical news mediums and the rise of online news sources news is becoming more unreliable. Very recently a facebook post claiming that president Obama was dying went viral. The result was that star magazine had to publish a story reassuring people that it was a hoax. But this shows an extremely real problem now. Journalism is no longer exclusively for professionals. Sites like wordpress make it extremely easy for anyone to publish articles. Except this has one major and extremely dangerous caveat. These articles are held to no journalistic standards for quality, ethics, and reliability. This has created an extremely destructive political environment which is unravelling our world’s ability to function.

7837-300x272That issue is political polarization. Polarization is “a sharp division, as of a population or group, into opposing factions.” In the world of politics this represents the divide between political ideologies. Mainly liberal vs conservative points of view. With the rise in news sources and the fall of many journalism standards. Media sources frequently are written with extreme biases. It’s much worse than the tv stations such as Fox News(Conservative) and NBC(Liberal). These are polarized but not to the extreme extent. But online sources such as tpnn represent an extreme conservative bias publishing articles that can be easily debunked with some fact checking slamming the democratic party while equally as bad are sources like the occupy democrats website and facebook page which publish articles slamming the GOP usually using points that only make sense from a liberal bias. GTAV has actually parodied this phenomena by creating two in game radio stations. WCTR(Liberal) and Blaine County Radio(Conservative) both stations are portrayed as bumbling idiots and their biases are exaggerated versions of the american political climate. Also there exists in game a tv station called weazle news(Fox) with the tagline “confirming your prejudices” This is a very realistic look at news reporting coming out of a game with record of shameless parodies of real life.

The big strain that this puts on society is twofold. One it creates factions around opinions rather than facts and reinforces them by allowing someone to stay inside their own comfort zone and confirm their biases with “facts.” Two it creates an atmosphere where moderates such as myself have nowhere to get real news. Personally I don’t fully trust any source. I often either see huge biases in sources or if I don’t I can’t tell if the facts are real or are bias confirming for me.Fact checking is a necessity to be informed in the current world. But the trouble is what source can you use to fact check? Personally I trust no one. However, snopes does seem to be an unbiased fact checking site. The important thing is to be critical of everything you read.

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