Editorial: Access to information

With technology and social media, we have more ways to find out what is going on in the world than ever before.

With technology and social media, we have more ways to find out what is going on in the world than ever before.

It’s possible to reach out to a stranger on the other side of the world and have a conversation as easily as if you were leaning over the back fence.

A news story from Africa might once have taken days (or longer) to make its way to your local media can now be accessed instantly, directly from the source.

Individuals may be able to access more information than ever before, but the dark side of this shiny new coin is what people are doing with all that access. Rather than reaching out and exploring, many are choosing to explore only those channels where they find people, news and information that agree with their preconceptions and attitudes.

Information silos were a factor in both the election of Donald Trump in the U.S., and the surprise of his opposition, who woke up on Nov. 10 to find they were just as guilty of only seeing what they wanted to see.

Tunnel vision isn’t new. But the proliferation of websites — especially when it comes to politics — dedicated to a particular view of the world increased the size of the blinders enormously.

Slanted stories on these sites help to perpetuate misinformation, and when you add in the growing contingent of fake news writers and sites, it becomes nearly impossible to sort the real information from the false.

It’s become a sad state of affairs where all these sources are lumped together with a generic “the media,” and held up as examples of journalism.

This isn’t journalism, nor has journalism changed in the information age.

Good journalism is what it always has been — information that makes sense of the world, brought to you by professionals who follow an objective process to produce fair and balanced copy.

 

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