Television, Radio, and Newspapers are the three major sources of information for the majority of people, excluding the internet. But even though they have such a huge responsibility in keeping the public informed, they are often found to exaggerate the truth in favor of a good story. How can we now tell whether news is still news, or merely a tale developed in the backroom by a group of journalists?
A very good example of this occurred in my local area. A dentist was found to have contracted HIV, and there were concerns regarding the risk of infection to the patients. According to one information source, there were up to 300 people who had a high chance of being infected, and were calling for an inquest to be established. The second source had an interview with an ‘expert’ who stated that there was a minimal chance of the spread of the disease. The statistics show that not a single person in the entire country has been ever contracted this disease from their dentist.
But who can be believed? The first case is an obvious exaggeration, but if one source of news has been compromised, then how accurate is the second. The same occurs with all industries where money is involved. The profit of the company, and an increase in sales is more important than quality work. In this case, selling more newspapers or getting better ratings far exceeds the need to provide accurate news.
It is often seen that along with the greed influence, many sources of information are forced to provide a specific view of the world by their owners or by the people who use the data provided. This is a form of propaganda, designed to spread a specific message to the masses – a message that may or may not be in their best interests.
As a member of the public, I feel that I deserve the most accurate information that is available on the topics that most affect me. If news agencies are unable to live up to my expectations of them, then there is something seriously wrong with way that these services operate. Without the consumer they have no audience, no customers, and no-one to inform at all. With that kind of power, the public should be able to change these problems with such an important industry, but they do not seem able to.
It is time for society as a whole to take a stance on this issue. If enough people express their opinion, then the news industry has to hear. If no changes are made, then there will no longer be any profit for these businesses. But if more accurate, quality information is presented, then a huge amount of money could be made. It is time to end the monopolies placed on the information industry. It is time for the exaggerations of the media to end.