HighLevels of Inaccuracies in the Media
Inhis article “the American Pravda”, Ron Unz, urges that there isgood reason to be alarmed by the failures of the American media(Friedersdorf 4). Most of the media houses ignore the newsworthyevents and facts of the utmost significance inexplicably. Thisproblem has always contravened the fundamental standards ofjournalism rather than an individual viewpoint of a journalist or anarticle. The need to realize that the world is most of the time quitedifferent from what most of the journalists report requires muchcloser scrutiny at the stories written by various leading newspapersand journalists (Friedersdorf 6).
Inthe current world media reporting, levels of inaccuracy are alarmingand this makes it a major issue of concern. When looking closely atnewspapers, be it The New York Times or the Telegraph, their dailybiases are alarming in certain areas. Most of the people who werepresent during the occurrence of an event would say a different thingreported by a newspaper or journalist. This makes the issue of newscovering be clouded by inaccuracies and factual stories.
Governmentinfluence is a major cause of inaccuracies in media reporting. Thisis blamed on the many states government’s ruthless laws governingpublic news coverage and reporting. Mallary (2) notes that reportingon National Affairs had dropped due to the government`s authoritativenature and those reported always shielded it from blame. Most of thegovernments, especially in third world countries would curtail themedia to report false events to cover up or not to expose them. Thisis done to protect some people assumed to be most influential in thegovernments. The effect is that public trust and confidence in themedia is lost (Daily Source 12). A study by the American Society ofNewspaper Editors showed that people get factual errors in the newsreported by various journalists and newspapers across the UnitedStates at least once every week.
Thereis an emerging problem where most of the journalists and reportersdwell and ply up on stories that are most sensational in the publicdomain. Most of the journalists are after these stories because theywant their papers to get selling and make supernormal profits. Thefailure to cover the stories of national importance leaves the publicwith little confidence in the newspapers and resort to other methodsof getting to find out what is happening around them that will havean impact on their welfare. Another group of the public believes thatmost media overemphasize the stories they publish just to make themsell (Daily Source 16). In most cases, extravagant interpretations orclaims are made about some stories and findings and lack facts(Ransohoffaand Ransohoffb17). Sensationalism can cause distorted reports and stories togenerate both unwarranted fears and false hopes in the public domain.News about critical topics as diet, health issues, the toxic shocksyndrome, and breast implantation among others affects peoples’behavior and may result into panic among the victims. When reportedwith factual errors, the public will get wrong information andcorrection of such errors may cause mistrust in the public.
Becausemost individuals get informed through televisions from the comfort oftheir houses, a poorest medium for information, Friedersdorf (11)reportsTVbroadcasts focus mainly on the appearance and charisma of thepresenters and not the quality of the reports they make. This makesthe news broadcasted on the televisions be of poor quality incomparison to the ones reported in journals and newspapers. Theanchors are presentable but lack quality journalism. As theFriedersdorf in his Atlantic post argues, if one wants quality news,turn off the screen and read (Friedersdorf 13).
Thefailure of the press to uncover the looming doom and scandals in manyareas of the public interest leaves it reduced to a non-trustablewatchdog. The public has high expectations set for the press. It isexpected as a matter of law and norm to have a lot more access togovernment and public information and uncover the truth that to gointo private enterprises and look for frenzy stories that will selltheir newspapers daily (Friedersdorf 13). What makes the media lookincompetent by publishing and airing untruthful stories is itsmindset on profits rather than the objectivity of information to thepublic.
Inaccuraciesin media reporting are rampant and have led the public to loseconfidence in them. This is an issue of concern that needs to beaddressed with the urgency it deserves. To restore the confidence ofthe people in the media, such problems have to be made right.Sensationalism has to be done moderately and stories of nationalimportance given priority with facts in them. The press has to honorits obligation as a public watchdog and report accurately on thegovernment and public information they access and come across. Journalists have to realize the need to give out true and honestreports to the public and work for the public in order to avoid theinaccuracies and discrepancies in reporting and actual events in theenvironment.
Adams,Emma. "Exploring the media coverage of emergency contraceptionin Canada." (2014). Print.
Conor,Friedersdorf. “Why Does the American Media Get Big Stories Wrong?”The Atlantic Post, June 3, 2013. Print.
DailySource. “Current Problems in the Media-High levels of inaccuracies” http://www.dailysource.org/about/problems#.V5SD_Pm7ikp.July 24, 2016. Web.
David,Ransohoff and Richard M. Ransohoff. “Sensationalism in the Media”.(2011). Print.
MallaryJean, Tenore. “Why Journalists Make Mistakes & What We Can DoAbout Them”. Poynter, July 7, 2010. Print.