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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

What happened to media accuracy?

Published: September 7, 2007
Section: Opinions

Few apparatus exist in our society that have the power to form and change the opinions of the public as that of the media. In an ideal world, like that of Mr. S Squarepants, this power would be used as an all-round proper informative tool for all the fishes in the U.S. of A. However, it appears to me that a portion of our news is filtered and/or construed to not suit the pure informative rights of the general public. (Note: Im not talking about the weather) It is a well-accepted truth that a large fraction of the American public, in their quest to become well-versed citizens, form and alter their opinions on various topics based on the Gerber food that our media outlets feed them. But due to the aforementioned fault with some channels of media, the wrong news can form the wrong opinions. My first instinct would be to blame George Bush, but I believe that this is outside his chain of thought;

as are most things.

The question now becomes why. Why is it necessary for some news sources to give inaccurate information? Maybe all the Fruit Loops I eat have finally affected my brain, but I thought the purpose of news was to provide a comprehensive account of an event. Now Im just as socially savvy as the next scholar, so I can understand the influence of money and power in some stories and how this may result in some news being censored or altered. But what I cant understand is why some news outlets feel that all stories need to be spiced-up and dramatized in order for it to be interesting. Statements being taken out of context and methods of transforming ordinary news into political scandals is all dandy for the National Enquirer but not for what is meant to be general news.
So I asked myself.SELF.why do some media sources choose to report misleading news? I came to a couple conclusions, first that some reporters and media sources no longer have the writing skill and ability to create a generally interesting and compelling piece of news, without some factual alteration. Secondly, it may actually be a self-esteem issue wherein some reporters are scared of Mommy and Daddy not liking their work, so they come up with schemes of making a story about a boy stuck in a well into a scandal somehow involving Michael Jackson. Some of my peers have told me that these practices exist because news is boring. (Really Sherlock?) Real news isnt supposed to be overly interesting. Its just news;

its supposed to be informative, comprehensive and maybe even a little satirical. I really hope that were not living in a society molded by a hunger for scandal. I can handle an hour of The Bold and the Beautiful but not an entire lifetime.

But even if the outside society has already been lost in this race for the best gossip, I hope that we as Brandeis intellects can protect our corner in this world from rogue news. Write a compelling piece that is interesting because of the grammar, syntax and overall prospective of the author, not because of the falsities and attempts to instigate tension and political feud. After all, were not writing for the president or the student senate, but for the enjoyment of our fellow Brandeisians. Or at least thats what I thought;

but I guess I may be wrong.