The media divides the nation

By Kait BedellNews Editor

Illustration by Felipe Bida

It’s no secret the country has been politically divided in recent years. With the left and right becoming more polarized each day, it feels as if nobody can trust one another. 

Who is the biggest betrayer in all of this? The answer is simple, misleading news and social media. 

Between easily shareable false information on social media and biased, agenda-seeking journalism, finding raw facts about current events is hard to come by. 

Right now, I don’t feel the mainstream news networks can be trusted and I am not alone in my skepticism about the intentions of these media platforms. According to New Information Conversation, a Gallup poll said only 16% of Americans trust mainstream media TV news. 

Social media is just as damaging. As large news networks such as CNN and FOX news report biased journalism that fits a certain narrative, angry news consumers turn to social media to further spread these false or out of context stories with no evidence to back it up.

Headlines are becoming clickbait. Stories are more about getting a lot of clicks than reporting the news. 

Journalists for both liberal and conservative-leaning news networks have lost their moral compass and sense of ethics, and the American people are the victims. 

It is the American people who now receive misguided information that leads to ranting Facebook posts and more intense family political arguments at the Thanksgiving table. 

When is it going to stop? If Americans can’t trust that the news they consume is reliable, how are we going to know what’s going on in this country? How can this country ever be united again and fix the political divide that is tearing friendships, families, and livelihoods apart?

I’d like to think I can trust people to do their job. If there was a home intruder, I’d want the police to show up. If I had a medical emergency, I’d want the doctor to take care of me. Like everything else, the media holds a job and responsibility. It should be expected of them to tell the whole truth 100 percent of the time, not only when it is convenient. It is time we start holding journalists accountable.

We also need to hold the people accountable. Social media preachers need to think before they post and although it should not have come to this, media consumers need to learn how to recognize when they’re being lied to. 

Journalists should stick to the facts, that’s what we are paid to do. Social media users should stick to doing their research before they speak and not be so quick to trust the first deceiving headline they read. We are called the United States of America, but right now we are anything but united. We need to learn how to use the media wisely, and journalists need to be better than this.

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