I had promised a rant on news vs gossip, opinions and bias so today’s the day.
Newsgathering: Some reporters sit at a desk and watch the teletypes (in the old days) or a computer screen waiting for a bulletin from the east or a press release. Some of us chase fire trucks. Some cover meetings. Some just make it up. You could be a White House correspondent where everything is spoon fed to you and you get on the nightly TV news.
Sometimes a reporter gets a call, given info, and he must make a decision. Go with it. Or just wait until everyone else has it. Not my background. Not my training. I loving talking and listening to people and after a while they get to respect that you are not out to push them off a cliff. They phone back. Pays not to burn bridges.
The point here is there is lot of different kinds of news. Let’s call it information that needs to be edited and filtered.
Bias can be in the news – I see it more on the printed page. TV reporters don’t have time to be biased. 45 secs of air time. Bias usually shows up in comments and opinion pieces. Great reporting and great editorial writing may take a side but should show both positions or more if possible. Balance is the key. Ask questions? That provokes a response. Making strong statements puts you in a corner.
Gossip vs news – I can give you two examples
Two people talking to each other at the post office – not married. Lady driving by sees this and says – “I hear Don and Babs are seeing each other”. That’s gossip – a bit of information is dangerous.
Teachers sitting in the coffee room – someone rushes in and says “The president has been shot” – that’s not gossip if heard on a radio or a TV.
Some people actually believe gossip is what you see on the internet and only the newspaper gives you that well thought out information. Truth is the paper could be wrong – the stuff on the internet could very true.
I will leave you with one word FILTER – filter your water, filter your news. Respect the source.
Critical thinking is a handy tool.