Think you’re getting the real news? Think again

Serra Raquel, Entertainment Editor

Millions of people base their judgments on the information provided by news broadcastings. Many assume that it’s always safe to rely on these broadcasts for accurate updates in current world events.

However, many news station are now transforming into entertainment based broadcasts, rather than ones based on raw news.

Though many networks try to provide the illusion that they aren’t biased, by choosing to emphasize some stories and disregard others, their biases are clear.

It is often hard to leave bias out of a story. The selection of sources can create a bias since some information or a side of the argument may be left out.

“Rigging or slanting the news is a most heinous act against the public interest,” the Federal Communications Commission said in response to complaints about broadcast journalism.

A fact check by PunditFact has shown that Fox News, CNN and MSNBC are all guilty of reporting some false information.
A major reason for the inherent biases may be due to news channels setting their priorities too much on entertaining viewers, rather than broadcasting factual news.

CEO and chairman of Fox News, Roger Ailes, has even said Fox News is not a legitimate news network, but actually entertainment broadcasting.
Should people rely on these broadcasts for news even though they are considered entertainment networks?

News broadcasts face a new competitor: social media. Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and even Snapchat are now sources for updates on current events.
We’re all more likely to tune in to programs that are engaging, flashy, dramatic, and attention grabbing. These entertainment news programs must capture an audience to compete with the instant convenience of social media.

And yet, even social media sites are biased too. A former editor of Facebook admitted that the Facebook curators prevented conservative news from being on the trending bar. If the news story came from a conservative-leaning website, the curators would have to find the story on a different website.

Curators also put certain stories on the trending list, even if it they aren’t extremely popular among users.

“People stopped caring about Syria,” a former curator said in a “The Washington Post” article. “If it wasn’t trending on Facebook, it would make Facebook look bad.”

The algorithm for the trending news section is always being changed, so it is uncertain how much curators are manipulating what is trending.
So after watching broadcast journalism or scrolling through a social media site, it’s important to stay cautious about what the real truth is. It may be time to do a little extra research.