Should we still trust the media? | The Tylt

Should we still trust the media?

Faith in the media has sunk to an all-time low, with only 32 percent of people expressing "a great deal" or "a fair amount" of trust in the mass media. Academics often argue that a strong, robust media is vital for a thriving democracy. But some critics say America's current for-profit media structure is incredibly biased, sensationalistic, and making politics worse. What do you think? Vote below.

FINAL RESULTS
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Should we still trust the media?
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A festive crown for the winner
#DontTrustMedia
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Should we still trust the media?
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#DontTrustMedia

America's trust in the media is at its lowest point since Gallup began asking the question back in 1972. The numbers have also become increasingly partisan; Republicans no longer believe the media accurately reflects their worldview.

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But distrusting the media can have really damaging effectsas Jonathan M. Ladd argues in his book, Why Americans Hate the Media and How It Matters:

"...media distrust has major negative consequences, is true to some extent. Media distrust is consequential. It changes the way people acquire information and form political preferences.


Overall, media distrust leads to substantial information loss among the mass public. Those who distrust the media both resist the information they receive from institutional news outlets and increasingly seek out partisan news sources that confirm their preexisting views."

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Prominent media critic Mathew Ingram says the lack of trust can't be pinned on any one thing, because of how decentralized media consumption is now. From FORTUNE:

"But the lack of centralized gatekeepers—or rather, the outsourcing of the gatekeeper function of mainstream media—also means there is no consensus on who is telling the truth, and that is a genie that is not going back into the bottle any time soon."
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Ingram also says there is more than enough blame to go around, and everyone lumping it on the media is missing the point. We are all at fault.

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Have media professionals done a poor job of actually explaining what their job is? Maybe that might be to blame...

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And relying on data hackers and WikiLeaks could have terrible consequences for things like personal privacy, when there is no one to step in and practice any sort of editorial judgment. Do you want your personal information all over the Internet?

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But in a hyper-partisan environment, media might be encouraging polarization and promoting extreme viewpoints.

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Plus, big media companies typically push things like clickbait and routinely fall for fake stories. How are we supposed to trust the media if it can't even do its job right?

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And with the rise of social media, it's quicker and easier to get up-to-the-second information before it's even on websites or cable TV.

FINAL RESULTS
Culture
Should we still trust the media?
#DemocracyNeedsMedia
A festive crown for the winner
#DontTrustMedia