Recently in one of my classes, I was witness to a university student who was a prime example of how the media, and what they choose to present to the public as undisputed fact, has placed a veil of deception over our eyes. Our topic for discussion in class fell on politics, and this particular student identified herself to be in the far right, conservative corner. She was in a heated argument with another student about how accurate the newspaper article we were reading was, especially with regards to how it depicted the actions and motoives of her political party. This article discussed the negative and violent side of her party, and she defended herself by asking us to watch and listen to FOX News, so we could then see clearly how she was right and this article was wrong. FOX News? Really?
I thought that in this age of technology, college students would be smart enough to comprehend the ancient issue of television news bias. But, then again, I can’t even count how many times I’ve noticed people in class not paying attention so that they can discuss the latest “Jersey Shore” episode or check their Facebook wall. Ignorance to the entire picture is ignorance of events, and this is what allows injustices to be committed and liberties to be denied.
The media is full of bias, on all sides and of all kinds. What story a station or paper chooses to run or not to run still reflects this bias. What we need to do is listen to more than one news station and read different online newspapers so that we as American citizens can get the most accurate accounts possible. Whether you are democrat, republican, independent or even not registered, we all should want to know the whole story- not just the parts the media thinks we want to hear, or the parts we choose to expose ourselves to through limited media and informational exposure.
It’s the people who listen to nothing but Jon Stewart, “The Colbert Report”, Bill Maher, Glenn Beck and other agenda based shows and then base their opinion from solely this that scare me. Our generation uses the media for everything. We rely on it to socialize, communicate and even take classes. Why wouldn’t we also rely on it to give us accurate information?
The internet provides an endless forum for the sharing of news and the learning of opinions. I beg of you, please don’t remain ignorant to the world and systems of control around you. Get all the facts before you claim to know the truth. Don’t be persuaded by anyone’s ideals but your own, and if tempted research these new ideas before spitting them back out as absolute truth. And next time you’re in class, instead of talking about Snooki or tweeting, maybe try listening to your professor and expressing your own opinion with intelligence and integrity.
Melanie Peterson is a student at West Chester University majoring in Communication Studies. She can be reached at Mp649178@wcupa.edu.