In-depth, objective news rare

I am discouraged by the media, particularly the national broadcast media. Journalism is an honorable profession for which I studied years ago. Over the years, at least in some sources, objectivity has been lost.

When I was in college, I learned I was to keep my opinions to myself except in editorials and opinion pieces, of course. News was supposed to cover both sides of the issue to let the reader form his own opinion. Journalists were the “watchdogs” of the nation. They were to dig down for the facts, the truth, as far as it could be determined.

When I watch the news, I’m bombarded by negative news so much that I often feel discouraged after viewing it. It seems like they want to draw in viewers with sensationalism or scare tactics. It’s almost laughable how dire the “breaking” news is at the top of the hour. An example is the worst storm hitting the country. I live in the Midwest where winters are frigid, and if people use common sense and dress properly, they aren’t in any more danger this season than they were in past seasons. I feel like I cannot even trust or believe the news anymore. They are becoming like the boy who cried wolf.

Watching the news, I’m learning how selfish, ignorant, or foolish certain people are. I see how people think the government is supposed to save us from a crisis, which is totally false. The government can’t save us from the crisis. People need to think for themselves and act better to make the world a better place. People can make their own decisions about immunizations and how much McDonald’s they want to eat. The government is supposed to protect us from real enemies. Educators are supposed to teach us about proper diet and financial balance. The government isn’t responsible for our decisions. We are responsible for our own decisions!

We are told the government needs to do this or that. Yet in the next headline we learn that the government still hasn’t accomplished such and such. If the government hasn’t accomplished something yet, why can’t the media just let it be for a while and update it later rather than reminding us daily? What purpose does it serve except to erode our confidence? If they didn’t finish it yesterday, why not give them a month and follow up instead of repeating the same news over and over? If a certain bill hasn’t been passed yet, well, tell us what was accomplished instead.

Another irritation is that the world news stories are nothing more than the teasers they gave at the top of the hour with a smidgen more detail. Honestly, it wasn’t worth waiting through all the commercials to hear that. I’m starting to feel that they think I’m stupid and that they don’t think I realize that they are wasting my time. Perhaps I am being foolish since I keep coming back hoping they’ll actually report more.

The day Billy Graham died, the world news program I tuned into went about 18 minutes without a commercial. My kids and I were astonished. My kids commented that maybe they actually had something to report. I believe they have something to report every day, much more than what we are getting, but the news has become a commodity to earn money. In the pursuit of fame and fortune, integrity can be lost. Their price has gotten too high—when you lose respect and honor, it isn’t worth all the money. The news isn’t for entertainment. It is to learn the facts, not opinions. Facts. This means there needs to be a little more in-depth reporting, not headline skimming.

We all have opinions and slants based on our worldviews. I don’t care what political party you represent as long as you are actually working to improve a situation and you truly respect individuals.

Have we become a society that has to be entertained in everything? Do we honestly need to have shocking teasers to lure us in to watch the news? Doesn’t anyone simply watch the news to learn what is going on in the world? I desire more in-depth information, so perhaps I prefer newspapers and magazines for my news sources.

Some say that people just don’t have the attention span anymore. Yikes! If a group’s attention span can be deteriorated over a generation, why can’t the reverse be done to improve it?

What is your news source, and do you find them reliable?

The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him. Proverbs 18:17

12 thoughts on “In-depth, objective news rare

  1. It’s so heartbreaking to watch our country fall apart . Read the Beatitudes this morning Matt:25 . It’s not people who watch the real news that scare me but those who don’t . I read and know my Bible and Jesus has got to be weeping .

    1. Yes, Sue, it is more dangerous not to know what is really going on. That is a good point. Yes, there is so much sorrow in our world. . . blessed are the peacemakers. . . praying strength for the persecuted. I feel so strongly about needing to know more to determine what is really going on since getting only pieces can lead us to wrong conclusions. Thanks for commenting, Sue! Prayers are certainly needed.

  2. Well put MIchelle!!! I too get angry at the sensationalism and the repetitive DUMB questions. For instance, I happened to turn on TV right after the school shooting in TX. They had a teenage girl on the phone, and questioning her, what did it feel like…did you see the shooter…what was going through your mind…and it became obvious the girl just didn’t know what to say any longer. And then we always get “the panel of experts” to interpret for us what was just stated, as if we are too stupid to interpret it for ourselves.

    1. Thanks, Deb. I want to know the news also, and agree that it gets annoying how it is presented sometimes. I feel bad for the people going through such trauma. The journalists are just trying to get quotes, but it does seem cruel to ask the obvious. I agree that we can think for ourselves and don’t need to be told how to interpret the event/story. Knowing people personally who have gone through a trauma and been interviewed by the press, I understand most just want privacy to mourn and heal. Answering those questions is difficult when the pain is so fresh and one can’t think straight from the shock. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Michelle, I am so glad someone thinks about this the way I do. We, too, get discouraged with the abundance of chatter, but the lack of facts in the news. I also agree with what you said about them recapping everything as though we don’t have the sense to understand it. I would like to hear more people speak out about all this.

    1. Thanks for joining the discussion, Donna, and for sharing the story. It can be hard to keep our minds on positive things when we are bombarded with negative. It is very important that we check sources and facts to make sure we are getting the full story. It is easy to become upset if we only hear parts. Sometimes news has to be retracted because of an error. It’s already too late though. I bet many of us miss the change or update. Everyone is in such a rush to be first. I think it would be better to make sure it is true first. Of course time is limited so we have to find trusted sources we can depend on. It would be encouraging to hear both sides so we could decide for ourselves.

  4. I just finished reading the devotional in “Our Daily Bread.” It was written by Randy Kilgore. He tells about a woman sharing a story. Her preteen son was watching news coverage of a violent event. She reached for the remote and changed the channel. She said “You don’t need to be watching that stuff.” Then she lovingly explained that he needed to fill his nmind with “whatever is right, whatever is pre, whatever is lovely . . .” After dinner that evening,the parents were watching the news. Their five-year-old daughter ran over and turned off the TV. She said “You don’t need to be watching that stuff,” and then declared in her best “mom” voice. “Now, think about those Bible things!”

    A good lesson for all of us.!

  5. I am finding that the stations that call themselves “news” stations are really more about opinions than facts. Have you seen the new music video by ForKingandCountry? The name of the song is” joy”. The video shows a news station giving the “news”.

    1. Thanks for sharing the video, Melissa. I had never heard of it so I had to go find it. I am glad to know that others are concerned about this as well. I hope others will check it out also on YouTube.

  6. Well said, Michelle. Yes, the 24 hour news shows especially are entertainment, NOT news. Even on the radio, I find one station that is supposedly a news/talk station uses a news service that reports 2 items at the top of the hour. Two! While a local easy listening station covers much more in their national news report.

    1. Yes, I agree, Mary. It takes some investigating to find unbiased news, and I certainly appreciate the stations that actually report more than a few headlines. The easy listening stations allow for a generous time allotment compared to regular stations. Thanks for sharing!

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