When you turn on the news, pick up the newspaper or see information on your favorite news website, do you feel like everyday the world it swirling faster and faster around the toilet bowl? I know I do. Everyone seems to be very rigid in their beliefs and wants a solution fitting their needs right this minute. While it is infinitely easier these days to hear about news on the other side of the world as it’s happening, we need to be mindful of the source.
When you are preparing for a disaster, one way to keep up to speed on potential trouble is the local news. You’ll be able to prepare for storms rolling in, see how the local economy is being described, changes in crime and so on. The news, albeit a source of local information, is not always an accurate one. The purpose of the news stations and papers and websites is to make money. Even if they are just trying to break even, they still need to appeal to an audience and attract advertisers. The news is a business.
My first introduction to how the media was a bit skewed was when I wrote for a product manufacturer. A popular magazine was writing a review of a product. We sent the product and they reviewed it and wrote an article about it. Before the article went to print, the article was sent to us for revisions and editing. We had free reign to edit the article to our liking. As a consumer, I lost a lot of faith in the product reviews I read from that point on.
The news is the same way. The anchors or authors are there to entertain you with their reporting. Many times news entities are taking the news other people have previously reported and adding their opinion and slant to it. When this happens, you are losing the factual report and getting a story based on someones opinion of what happened.
When the news is combined with businesses, the news outlets can be a great source for the businesses to put a spin on the information being sent out to the average Joe to lead them in a direction they will profit from. Many times a business can have a product that’s not entirely safe, but if the news isn’t saying it’s a bad or talking about people getting sick or it’s a total shame, people will keep buying the produce because it’s advertised a lot. When there is only one medicine being advertised as a cure for heartbreak when you are watching your favorite news program, you’ll know that medicine.
People who still believe the news is an accurate and unbiased source for facts and events are hard to convince. These people will not do the research to see if the story is based on fact or the news story is total equine feces. They figure the people reporting the news are trustworthy and wouldn’t report anything that wasn’t true.
The news has become more of a political tool and a propaganda machine than an unbiased resource for what’s happening. We, as a country, lost the drive to question what we are being told.
Not having the facts or the ability to make our own decisions on what is best for us makes planning for disasters of any kind very difficult. If water is tainted and the business is a good “advertiser” with the local news outlets, the story will barely see any coverage. Even though we may have unwittingly just filled up our storage tanks with the bad water, we will not have a safe supply of water when we need it, the “advertiser” will still maintain a squeaky clean environmental record.