Once upon a time, fact-checking, by journalists and reporters of merit, prior to publishing a story, was indeed a fact… but today, sadly, this fact is reduced to an appalling fallacy.
Look all around and what do you see on the news through television, or what we read even in the ‘ostensibly respectable’ press? We see either half-truths, or listen to blatant lies and read quotes that are more like ‘misquotes’!
In a culture where ‘rumors’ are forwarded as ‘truths’ at the push of a few buttons on a keyboard by newbie computer-literates, even ‘seriously professional’ media men – and women – are taking the easy way out. Cut-paste of images using a few photo-editing tools — to appear cool, or catty — is no longer just fun ‘n’ games… it’s HUGE money-spinning business… scary, if you ask me!
Monetary value aside, at the stroke of a pen (or with the push on a few buttons), the media now topples governments. No, this was not unheard of even in a past era; indeed, the media has always wielded that kind of power. However, somehow, the sheer abuse of technology by lazy, hasty, and greedy reporters has wreaked a different sort of havoc in the world today.
The most powerful media – without doubt – is in the west. The rest of the world tends to emulate the west. Where will it all end, that’s if the end’s not already here? But have we, the people, lost all sense of reasoning? Are our minds now so warped that we are unable to see right from wrong? Is ‘discerning’ out of our dictionaries? Is it simply that the media now controls our individual minds (as opposed to ‘collective thinking’ which leads to superficial thinking) as well? Whom can we trust? Who should we believe? Is there true leadership (a guide) today? Or must we live in a make-believe world with warped values shaped by a manipulative media?
I’m sorry, these thoughts often plague me, but Thomas L. Freidman’s op-ed column in The New York Times… “Too Good to Check” triggered this post.