Media credibility


A free interpretation based on Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade movie:

Grail Knight: “You must choose. But choose wisely. For as the True News will bring you life-the False News will take it from you.”

Indiana Jones picks the ceramic cup instead of the ones decorated with gems.

Grail Knight:  You have chosen… wisely.

Hold it or scroll it?

Established printed media is considered to be trustworthy, especially ones with a century or longer tradition. What about online media? Can we trust them the same way as we trust the printed ones? I think that holding something in your hands still has some weight, literally and figuratively. Before printing an article some research needs to be done and facts need to be confirmed, because apologizing can be pretty costly. In online media correction can be done with a few clicks. Also online media are competing who will be the first to publish the news. Irregularities are a rule.

Unnecessary stuff

Every media is full of advertisements. Advertisements also define the media. Cheap ones or cheaply designed ones tell a lot about the media. Open a website and you are bombarded with a reward for being a millionth visitor and you are about to win a jackpot. Or a XXX advertisement pops-up. When you see such things, you know you are on a cheap website. The website owner can to some extend decide what kind of advertisements will be displayed.

Readers also define the media

Comments are also a part of every good media. Comments in printed media can be much tailored to show only the positive parts and praise the media. Comments in the online articles can be a decisive point if you will want to follow the particular media. In “serious” articles also the comments can be very helpful as the readers who post comments sometimes offer a different view on the topic.

News, ニュー, أخبار, Nachrichten

What about the geographical origin of the media? Which one would you trust more: CNN or Al Jazeera? What about NHK world (Japan) or Deutsche Welle (Germany)? I think this is more about your personal preference and reporting style you are more used to. German news is well defined, slow paced, precise. American style news is so much about talking and trying to impress. In my opinion American style news is also more dynamic.

Not everybody who reads English is American

How about your location and the location of the media you are following? When a media originates from US it will more likely have a US perspective in their reporting. This is OK. But only to certain extent. I might not understand the references the author is pointing at, if the paramount of, for example justice, is that Senator that I have never heard of and to be honest, I will not even check, since I am not interested in US political system. I used to be a subscriber of a TIME magazine – European edition and eventually stopped being one due to too Americanized content.

I am not a communist!

What about the type of advertisements that you see while you are surfing? Would you still follow the online news from the site that shows you the “socialist” ads instead of more balanced choice of left and right political parties? Well, here comes a surprise. This is not necessary the website fault. It might be that you have been clicking a little bit too much on the particular types of ads and the advertisements that are brought to you now are tailored to your preferences. Ad providers use complicated algorithms to deliver the ads you might want based on your history of past choices. And of course there are also other things like your location, other websites you are visiting and so on.

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About Sebastjan Brezovec

I see blogging as a welcome distraction from daily routine. It gives me freedom to express myself as well as motivation for some research before publishing the content.
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