Can the News Media Be Trusted?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by 5544, Apr 25, 2017.

  1. 5544


    Dec 1, 2015
    After doing a Google search for Erin Moran to find out the real cause of her death (drugs, alcohol or stage 4 cancer), I found this quite interesting. This was the order of the results.

    2 days ago - Happy Days actress Erin Moran spent final days 'broke and homeless after being kicked out of mother-in-law's trailer park house in drunken brawl' before dying of suspected heroin overdose aged 56. ...

    12 hours ago - Seen for the first time these pictures obtained by REMOVED show Erin Moran's body being taken from her trailer park home by Harris ...

    One would be quick to point out that 36 hours makes a big difference in a 24 hour news cycle but here is the kicker - they were both from the same website.

    So the question is (regardless of the actual story itself): Can the news media be trusted especially when one doesn't even have to leave their own site to find contradicting information?
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  2. DavetheDude


    Nov 28, 2014
    Barely, because nowadays it's solely about who is the quickest to report ANYTHING, no matter what. I'm not a big fan of "alternative" news either, though.

    I don't want to pretend not to hear or see the things happening in the world, but we are being bombarded by all kinds of things, especially in the age of the internet, so sometimes it's better to close for things...
  3. 5544


    Dec 1, 2015
    How do I say this without sounding like I am talking politics?

    Before the election cycle, there were a lot of stories that would be classified as "fake news" today but it was only proven to be false months after the fact (and when all the facts came out and someone took the time to point them all out). The most famous of them was the SNL skit of Tina Fey making everybody believe the line "I can see Russia from my house" was said by someone else. In fact, just a couple of years ago I was talking about that and was called a liar when I brought up the fact that it was said on SNL. Their argument was that the other person was on SNL when it was said. Interesting how 2 different events blend into 1 event and becomes fact.

    During and after the election, I've had conversations about how things that were said to cause outrage with the public only to be proven false later kept happening more and more frequently.

    For the past couple of months, I have decided to stick my head in the sand when it comes to news stories because the lines between fact and fiction are no longer exist all for the sake of advertising dollars. Take the 2 stories about Erin Moran's death for example. The reason that the website remove the false story is because they would lose revenue since people would no longer be clicking in the site.
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  4. Tom Bomb

    Tom Bomb Hypocognitive

    Apr 23, 2014
    For wrapping fish 'n' chips, retaining heat, and absorbing grease, nothing even comes close.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2017
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  5. The news was better when the televisions had tubes in them.
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  6. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Trusted for what?

    - no one is objective. Pick your side.
    - as @DavetheDude said, especially with the 'net and 24 news, the desire the be first trumps (ok - beats) accuracy. Report, comment, and correct.
    - the line between news and entertainment is non-existent, thanks to shows like The Daily Show.
  7. Sav'nBass


    Jan 18, 2009
    Virginia Beach
    To a degree...... but in my opinion to the degree that it can be trusted it must be taken as a whole.. In other words you cannot have a single news source.... If you do you are under informed.
  8. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Out there!
    I always like the Bloom County "episode" where Milo turns on the TV to watch the news. The anchor person says "Today - nothing happened!" :laugh:
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2017
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  9. blue4


    Feb 3, 2013
    St. Louis area
    It's easy to blame the media industry, but they do that because it's what we demand. What's the most watched cable news show? Not the straight "news at 6" stuff, but a guy who's professionally outraged about usually nothing.

    Everybody talks about distorted media but have Bill O'Reilly and many others on chattering over fake stories and outright lies on their tv all day long.

    As far as trusting the media, I think if you can if you read multiple sources. I think that if I read about a corporate scandal on CNN, ABC, FOX or a local outlet that I can glean a reasonable approximation of what actually happened. I think the big guys do okay on the straight reporting, but get off the rails when they start the analysis/opinion section on the news.
  10. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    News media can not be trusted! Period! Their job is to sell commercial time! Probably, and I do mean probably............the best bet for news is PBS or the BBC and even they are to be viewed with some degree of doubt.

    Here it is 2017 and we are still learning the truth about the USA Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korean War, Viet Nam and government conduct dating back to 1776.

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  11. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Difference is back then the media was not expected or believed to be objective. Both sides had their own newspaper or two - that's how they were created. When TV got big, the network had a reputation as who you trust. Both sides, whether TV or radio, pretend/claim to be so.
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  12. GregC

    GregC Questlove, Black Thought, Hamilton Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    Can the news media be trusted? Given the vast number of outlets today, that's an extremely broad question. I think most reporters are very hard-working, underpaid people who are working like hell to get it right under what has become insane deadline pressure in the era of the 24-hour news cycle.

    However, most media outlets have declining revenues and thus declining resources, and that's due to (A) a failure to adapt to the Internet in a way that would let them monetize their content and (B) the increasing tendency, in the age of social media, for people to stay in "bubbles" where they only read and hear things that support their own viewpoints. The result, I believe, is thinner staffing at the editing and fact-checking levels, so they do seem to get it wrong (at least intially--again, the 24-hour cycle has an impact) more than they used to.

    That said, I still trust most of the majors--at least, those that don't go overboard on sensationalist headlines and graphics--a lot more than I do Blogger X or Angry Alternative "Facts" Bleater Y, who generally have few or no fact checkers or editors, a very specific agenda, and are FAR more beholden to their advertisers than the big guys. The key, as was said earlier, is to consult multiple sources.

    And before writing something off as "fake news", I suggest we all examine our own biases and again consult multiple sources. Maybe you just don't like facts that disagree with your worldview.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2017
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  13. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    Give an American corporation that kind of profit potential and then shield them from any liability for their actions with the first amendment...what could possibly go wrong with that?
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  14. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Central Texas
    As a former member of the MSM... no. Emphatically.
  15. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    yes: the world seemed to 'work' according to the information we got back then! (our view may be lost on the digital dependents! ha!)

    or the guys and gals who are outraged about everything!
  16. “If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you're mis-informed.” - Mark Twain.
  17. 5544


    Dec 1, 2015
    Here lies the problem with multiple sources: If 9 out of 10 sources say one thing and the 10th one says the opposite, the 10th one is labelled an uncreditable source even if it is later proven that the other 9 sources were initially wrong.

    I remember doing a search for bin Laden back in 2004 and saw on CNN that he died in January 2002 - at least that is when the story was published. I found it quite odd that a dead man was killed in 2011 and after a search, I found the same story from 2002. Curiosity struck again a couple of years ago and the same story was still up. Today when I search for the story because I wanted to link it today, I find multiple "conspiracy theory" links instead of the original story I found multiple times.
  18. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    Quoting the news anchor on The Simpsons...

    "Those are the the rumors behind them!"
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  19. viribus

    viribus Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Pacific Northwest
    I never actually learned to play very well
    Took me about 90 seconds to figure out that both of the OP's quotes came from Seriously? That's your go-to source for news? Even "just" the death of a former celebrity?

    If you're going to indict the credibility of the news media, at least pick a credible source of news.

    Home | Daily Mail Online

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    Last edited: Apr 25, 2017
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  20. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    It depends on who the source is, and how much effort you are willing to put into it.
    "Back in the day" the news was considered sort of a public service. Like banking, it served an important service, but wasn't sexy or particularly profitable. Now, the profit motive to scoop your competition and get the headline first, or to make it sensational, has tilted things. People say terrible things just to get listeners. Headlines are run with salacious details that are half-true to get attention. A story is run before all the details are clear. A story is beat to death because there is nothing else to talk about.
    You can always be sure the entertainment news is questionable. Wait for the story to cool to get the details. With world events, find a neutral source, and then cross reference it. Learn to spot an opinion piece masquerading as news.