Toxic Journalism

What happens when folks who provide the news are controlled by the money that keeps their lights on?

What happens when folks who consume the news cave to groupthink that satisfies their preconceived notions?

What happens when both are combined?

You are left with a vicious cycle of people moving into their respective corners, resisting debate, and seldom deciding to consume information that does not agree with their views.

How does an electorate move beyond such a problem, especially when it has never been easier to consume any news outlet you want?

The journalists feed into the problem. They critique or ‘fact check’ opposing views. They develop the cynicism by poking at other outlets. This further moves consumers of information deeper into the respective corners they choose. The problem worsens, and gap widens.

The ease for consumers to remain alongside those who share common interests furthers the divide.

So, what’s the root of the true problem? It really boils down to the fundamentals of your upbringing and education. These are typically isolated to a few things. Today, most apparent is your view of government. Do you find government to be an intrusion or a benefit? Another strong divide is religion. Is there a higher power and afterlife or is there not? The final divide has to do with life experiences, especially while growing up.

How does this get fixed? It really doesn’t. You can’t rip away memories of a life experience. You can’t isolate people and force them to socialize with others. You cannot take away their religious beliefs or condition someone to develop them. These things take a ton of time and seldom occur. You can’t reeducate someone as to what government does or doesn’t do for people and its expected place in our life.

These things are rooted to our core. Issues often become black and white and we are forced to divide and conquer. So, instead of reaching a compromise where we are both upset, but long term winners, we can’t win. One small way to help address the problem lies in perspective. Always try to understand the perspective of where someone is coming from.

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