The News Today: Searching For Truth In A Sea Of Spin

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This post has stuff about politics and religion. My perspective has changed

“Would’st thou,“—so the helmsman answered,
“Learn the secret of the sea?
Only those who brave its dangers
Comprehend its mystery!”

_> Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. > The Secret of the Sea> . 30 Aug 2006. [Online] > Giga > USA > , Ocean Quotes_

When you see a photograph in the newspaper do you ever wonder if it’s actually real? When you watch the news do you ever question the sources? When you listen to the radio do you stop to think about the personal or organizational perspectives behind their editorials?

It’s likely that you think about these things sometimes—when someone references a survey without citing its demographics, or when a “leading expert” is quoted but never disclosed.

I believe that we are absolutely inundated in a vast sea of spin—others’ interpretations of events whether political, social, or otherwise. Sometimes it is the deliberate and intentional effort of a corporation to make money by exploiting a target market. Other times peoples’ passions bubble up without any conscious effort at all. Adrian from Be A Design Group puts it this way:
<blockquote>No matter how good intentioned an author of a news story is, a point-of-view is going to be represented in their story and the photo chosen to accompany the article is going to reflect that point of view. In the news business admitting that your organization has a point of view is taboo because it sounds much like the dirty words “bias” and “agenda.” Although I would argue that we don’t have much of a choice, I think it is better to have news organizations admitting they have an opinion than news organizations that pretend that they are selling truth.

I say we have no choice because “the news” is changing right before our eyes. Just look at the explosion in news sources. Whether it is the newspaper, blogs, talk radio, cable news, or podcasts, there are more options for news than ever before. We now have the ability to select the filter that we want our news to be delivered to us through. Conservative, liberal, patriotic, religious, comedy, nearly any slant you can imagine. News has little to do with truth and everything to do with providing the type of news that the market is asking for. The news has ceased to exist in black and white and is now a thousand shades of gray. You pick the shade that fits best with your world view. [Emphasis Added]
Adrian. Be A Design Group: News Photography: The Truth is Dead. 30 Aug 2006 [Online] Be A Design Group</blockquote>
All this begs the question, “With all this spin, what do we believe?” to which I would respond, “ EVERYTHING .” Obviously that’s an overly simplistic response so here’s what I mean: We need to consider as many sources as we possibly can when attempting to form conclusions regarding a given topic. Eventually we will form our own conclusions that will, in fact, be biased—and that’s okay—but it’s our responsibility to ensure that we actually think about what we’re seeing, hearing, and reading before making judgments.

Of course, as a Christian, I also believe that everything has to come under the microscope of God’s Word, the Bible. Current events, editorials, radio broadcasts, pop-culture, and music must be analyzed against the absolute, fundamental, and eternal truths that have been established by our Creator before they can be internalized.

So I want to know what you think. Typically, a things’ weakness is also its strength. Do you see anything positive about all of the information sources we have in the 21st century? Is it all gloom-and-doom or is there some hope to be had? It doesn’t matter if you have a well thought out point or especially if you don’t agree with me or my beliefs—Tag! You’re it! Go ahead and leave a comment.