Daily, hourly, and minute-by-minute airwaves bombard us with differing opinions. The flick of a switch can give us the inside track on the thoughts of people from all over the world.
The worldview of writers and commentators will skew the news they report. No matter how much a person attempts to remain unbiased there will always be some influence from their beliefs and culture embedded in the information they share.
In some cases, reputations can be damaged when accounts are released to the public before sources are verified. Information can lead people to make decisions that affect their lives and if the details are incorrect the result can be devastating. Embarrassment for the news agency follows if stories need to be retracted.
On November 3, 1948, the Chicago Tribune ran the headline, “Dewey Defeats Truman.” The newspaper went to press before the final votes were tabulated in the presidential election. They depended upon polls and the fact that Dewey was ahead at the time which determined their headline decision. Other papers predicted the same outcome as well as some radio broadcasts.
This example shows us that media is not always reliable with the truth. They tried to get ahead of everyone else by making assumptions. Newspapers and TV channels are supported by advertising. Spectacular headlines draw more viewers and truth is not always the deciding factor in their selections.
Our recent world events have shown us the way media biases can affect our lives. Pandemic warnings, statistics, and methods of treatment vary daily. We never know which ones to believe.
The war in Ukraine is another recent example of differing views on war, the cause, and the solution. Speculation abounds regarding the next step. Will nuclear weapons be used? Is this the beginning of World War III?
We face inflation and scarcity of certain products needed for daily life. The flow of arguments presents alternative solutions and questions about causes.
What can we as Christians do to ensure we aren’t misled?
Here are 7 ways to avoid media bias as much as possible.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Daniel Tadevosyan