Monday, October 24, 2016

Is the Media Trustworthy?

Keily Balduff

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Trust Becomes A Topic of Discussion

It is so important for people to trust the media. Yet, people do not trust the media. For a relationship that would benefit from mutual trust, there is none between media and the people. A discussion is brought to the table titled "Young Black People See the News Media's Double Standard" by Catherine R. Squires. Raising important issues as means for distrust, this discussion of why people do not trust the media begs the question, how did this happen?

Giving reasons as to why it is hard to trust the institution of the media, Squires shows just how hard it is for a black person to find any ounce of trust in the media. Focusing on racial disparities, each example shows just how skewed the media has been towards young black people. One powerful example was that " is hard to trust an institution that overlooks the strengths of your community and its culture, and instead reduces it to statistics." In particular, this example hit home. Not because I understand what it is like to be reduced to a statistic, but because I see it every day. 

The Double Standard

Double standard's are so often used in media. Below is a tweet from September that simply shows the double standard between the media's representation of two men.  

Patterns and cases that fall within these double standards crumble any amount of trust that could be forged among young black people and the media.

Trust Falls

Today more than ever, people are turning to the media during election times. In the article ''Trust' in the News Media Has Come to Mean Affirmation' by Brooke Gladstone, the downfalls of trust in the media are highlighted. It is common knowledge that certain news sources are more conservative or more liberal. Any more it is hard to find a news source that is not funding a specific campaign.

Even more than election times, the media's credibility and morality plays a very important role in trust. When the media has encountered serious missteps, the people who would consume it become increasingly skeptical. How can a news source be trusted when they are royally screwing up and news story?

A Path To Change

With so many people not finding the trust in the media as they would like to see, it is crucial to always remain true to the core values of media ethics. Remaining transparent is the most important step into building the trust between news consumers. For news media, maintaining trust with its consumers will benefit them in the long run. Journalism and news coverage should not be regarded with skepticism but rather the confidence that the information is true to form and is being reported at its best. Finally, removing double standards from news media is a key role in building confidence in the media by minorities. It should never be acceptable to place double standards in news coverage. At the end of the day, the news media provides a very high percentage of people with the news. It is our job to accurately report it while maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship built on trust.

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