Call me crazy, but you should definitely believe everything you read on the Internet or see on the news. I mean, why would the very people who’s jobs it is to provide us with information lie to us? Just kidding, when browsing through headlines online or flipping channels on the TV you should probably put your skeptical spectacles on. Generally, good sources to believe are those which include something about the who, what, when, where, why, how, and so what of a particular story. However, even then I would advise you to put your critical contacts in. News is considered credible when all of the facts can be proven. Although, in this age of a cluttered Web, how are we even supposed to go about checking evidence?
“Seeing is believing.” That statement couldn’t be any more wrong. Elf Judy put it perfectly when she explained to little Charlie in the 1994 Santa Claus film that “Seeing isn’t believing, Believing is seeing.” Although she was referring to the North Pole in her quote, we can apply this to today’s television news media. As Kovach and Rosenstiel put it, “Seeing is not knowing. Distinguishing between fact and truth involves knowing how to weigh the value of different facts.” We must know how to evaluate evidence that news reporters present us with. Just because we see something on the news doesn’t mean it wasn’t shown completely out of context, in a different order than the true chronology, or edited to fit the constraints of the show. This happens far too often.
This video shown in class illustrates my point perfectly. The 4 year old child is misquoted by the news to sound violent. Watch the video to it’s entirety to see for yourself.
If I really had to know something for it’s whole truth and nothing but the truth, I wouldn’t even know where to turn. Because news journalism has become so biased, edited, and commercialized, it’s hard to find truth amongst webs of lies or half-truths. I suppose I would use Google to come up with an answer. But even then, think about how much non-credible crap I would have to sift through in order to find my diamond in the rough. A lot.