Opinions

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My parents always had the same tabloid newspaper delivered every morning. As I got older, I’d read the news and sections that interested me, but when I moved out I had a different newspaper delivered. This one supported opposing views on most issues, and I found myself approving its coverage.

After a while, though, I became less comfortable with the unequivocal tone of some editorials. I formed the opinion back then that it isn’t good for me to read a newspaper I agree with (mostly). It’s too easy to believe that the majority viewpoint agrees with mine and stop listening to alternatives.

It would be good to find a genuinely independent newspaper, but that isn’t going to happen. Now I don’t buy one unless I’ve run out of puzzles.

Instead, I watch the day’s news on two or more TV channels. One is usually the British Bias Corporation. It’s interesting to see which news it downplays (or omits) compared to other channels, and which items it concentrates on instead – sometimes events that others barely mention.

TV in stream
Photo by Photography Maghradze PH on Pexels.com

Lately – mostly when I’m putting off editing – I’ve found myself lurking on blogs I don’t agree with. Maybe I’m trying to understand their reasoning, although sometimes there seems precious little reasoning going on. If the writer is on a soapbox, I rarely comment. Views that are aired online tend to be firmly held – often aggressively, as if the writer feels personally threatened by an alternative view.

Why add fuel to the blaze? Nobody can change a closed mind, and slanging matches only summon trolls who believe that s/he who shouts the loudest wins the argument.

What I find particularly worrying is the way that suspects detained by the police undergo trial by media long before genuine evidence can be presented at trial. Whatever happened to the presumption of innocence until proved guilty?

By the time press headlines are further stirred by Facebook and Twitter (other social media are available) what are the chances of finding a jury whose opinion has not already been influenced?

Here’s hoping the upcoming generations grow more media-savvy than our own and better able to sort the wheat from the chaff that the press feeds us.

girl watching TV
Photo by Ksenia Chernaya on Pexels.com

What forlorn hopes do you hold for upcoming generations?

18 thoughts on “Opinions

  1. I read your question and wondered – Do my hopes outnumber my worries? I’m not sure. I have so many hopes. Acceptance, charity, kindness, health, equality, fairness… the list goes on. I am not writing down the worries. They do not need any more energy. Thanks for this thought-provoking post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Perhaps the issue with news is that we’re more aware of what is happening outside our own experience. A two-part documentary on the roots of violence is coming up in the UK. I’ve tagged it to record. Part two apparently asks if humans are becoming less violent. Let’s hope…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, we certainly have access to what is going just about anywhere, in almost real time. And as far as the decline in violence, I think that was the premise behind Steven Pinker’s book: The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with you Cathy. When I was a proper paper boy, seven days a week, it never ceased to amaze me how different papers reported the same story, In the US up until Reagan’s tenure newspapers were obliged to report the news accurately without bias by law. He dropped that obligation, it is alleged influenced by none other than Rupert Murdoch. I am unappy that the Leveson inquiry was shut down before completing its work. Upset too that people, often innocent are tried by the media before they have the opportunity or the means to defend themselves. As Jim Callaghan, I think once said, “A lie can be half way around the world before truth can get its boots on.”
    I use Cromwell’s picture as my Gravatar not because I share his religious or many of his political views but because he believed in truth.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The quote has been attributed to Mark Twain,, Jonathan Swift, Thomas Franklin, Fisher Ames, Thomas Jefferson, John Randolph, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, and Winston Churchill. Terry Pratchett quoted it several times in ‘The Truth’.
      I tend to agree with the one about the truth being like a mountain (Chinese? Zen?…) It looks different depending what side you’re looking from.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It is exhausting to try to know what is going on all over the world. I don’t remember being so deluged with information even a decade back, much less so much opinion. There really isn’t enough important news to fill seven days of 24 hours a day, so there is a lot of time to pontificate. My grandchildren do seem to recognize slanted views pretty clearly. That does give me hope.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think that the first duty of ‘media studies’ is to teach children about comparing news reports and warning them about ‘opinions’.
      As for press hounding of arrested suspects – or even those merely interviewed…
      Don’t get me started

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  4. I agree with you completely. We see the same thing in the media here in the U.S. Like you, I hope the younger generation will be wise and aware of how the media is trying to influence them. One of my biggest concerns is that we are slowly shifting to mob rule…whatever the majority says is what goes whether it is right or not. Here we can tune in to the news on TV that reinforces our beliefs. I’ve even heard that google searches will turn up different results based on geographic area. If the majority of the people in a particular area believe a certain way, then your google searches will reflect and reinforce that belief. Scary stuff there.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The trouble is, those of us who have more moderate opinions don’t want to get involved in a slanging match. hopefully, when everyone’s back to work the extremists will have too much to do to spend their free time trolling the internet

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