Journalism Matters

I can’t help but notice all of the posts about how awful “the media” is, how terrible the news is and for people to stop supporting the news in general.   

I’d like to be the devil’s advocate, in a way, and tell you to turn off the big corporate news channels and tune in to your local news (and make sure it is an authentic, local news outlet). 

Local journalists work hard to bring you relevant and accurate news. And honestly, it is not a high-paying job, so I promise you it has nothing to do with money. Many journalists do it for the love of telling people the stories they need or never knew they needed to hear. 

Your local newspapers are who spread the word about the new project someone is doing for the town, publish your kid’s letters to Santa, share the news about that new business opening up and so much more.   

I would also like to say, stop believing everything you read on social media.   

Yes, news stations have turned to social media to build a presence and expand their brand, but believe it or not, anyone can make a Facebook page, Twitter account, YouTube channel and so forth. Also, anyone can add news to the title.   

There is currently a “local news” Facebook page that is actually a guy that just wanted to share relevant news to constituents in his county. He is not a journalist. He does not work for a news station. My guess is he only knows what he sees and doesn’t reach out to verify the information. This gentleman shares extremely biased information and posts, not all of them are factual. This causes a lot of chaos. It also causes people to doubt legitimate news sources because they think sites such as these share accurate and objective news. They are not; they are merely confident citizens. 

How do you get around this? Fact-check what you read. Research the “news” station you are getting your information. Do not believe everything from one angle. Do not be afraid to research a news story or situation from different angles and sources to get all of the facts and information.   

So, while yes, there may be some apparent biases in those large news stations- -this has been happening since the beginning of news outlets. While you fact-check, turn to the local journalists, your neighbors and support them. Without local news sources, a lot of wonderful things, people, programs, etc. would go unnoticed.   

Journalism matters.

Brittany Hively can be contacted at [email protected]edu.