Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Untruthful Press

There's a great piece this morning from Deutsche Welle on the German news media.  The Forta Institute conducted a poll with roughly a thousand Germans.....on the news media and what the public thinks.  The results were a bit shocking for some folks....forty-four percent think that the German news media lies or leads readers to untruthful situations.

It's a fairly high number....meaning that just barely two-thirds of the German nation feel trustworthy of the news media.

Deutsche Welle goes through and does a four-star job analyzing the trend and how this is becoming a problem with the public perception.

There's another comment within the report that links to the Ludwig Erhard Foundation.  They've looked at the differences between various European countries with news journalists, and come to this one odd identification of German news media people...."They are zealots for a cause, and they fight for something, instead of reporting on it."

I sat and thought about this....particularly in relation with Channel One (ARD) and Channel Two (ZDF).  Both state-run and each having a slightly different flavor of journalism.  Both have a lot of reporters who are simply diehards for some belief and will go into some public forum with their shield and sword to defend this belief.  Rather than lay out observations and facts, and let people just analyze to come to their own conclusion....the popular trend is to bring people strictly to one end or conclusion.

Near the end of the commentary....Deutsche Welle goes and makes the connection to the internet, and how the public now has a tool to compare news, commentary and perception.  If someone has a doubt over what they've heard on Channel One....they need only spend five minutes reviewing optional news sites and find that there are a dozen other facts in a particular story told by Channel One.....which would lead you to another conclusion, but the reporter from Channel One sought to leave those facts out.

The real problem is that society has reached a point where news is fed to them....twenty-four hours a day....in various ways....and rather than this being some centralized tone or just plain facts.....it becomes some persuasive discussion to get you feeling one certain way.  It's not really news anymore....it's something else.

At the present rate, in twenty years....I expect most news moderators and reporters to be replaced by some AI (artificial intelligence) computer system.  There'll be no need for living and breathing reporters because the computer has figured out how to tell the same slanted story, costing less on overhead, and getting the same woeful result in the end.  It won't matter if you get lied to by a live reporter, or a computer....it'll be all the same stuff.

No comments: