Often times the media finds sneaky ways to skew the information that they are reporting, so how does this affect
our writing as students?
Lost Along the Way
Journalism has been around since as long as the world has had something to talk about. Which has been always. But more recently over the past century and a half, there are different forms of Journalism appearing. Forms such as broadcast journalism, photojournalism, and new types of media like social media. With all of the new ways of transmitting communication that are around today, this opens up the doors for news to get lost in translation and misinterpreted along the way, which in return can result in a difficult essay writing process for students because it is so difficult to know which website is the truth and which website is just writing to share Hollywood rumors.
Hollywood News Skewed
News stories get skewed through the variety of means of communication. An example of this is in Hollywood and the desire to know every last detail about celebrities’ life and whether or not what they have done is right, wrong, or absurd. This urge for journalists to write about the life of a Hollywood member is just the beginning of how rumors start and how these rumors seem so much like the truth.
One example of how rumors about a celebrity get misinterpreted for the truth is found in a recent article on a gossip blog site about Justin Bieber, the author shares Bieber’s justification for the matter: “I was just tired of all the ‘I’m acting black comments’. Now I’m not acting black, because legally I am black”(empressleak.com). The basic content of this article empressleak.com explains that Justin Bieber changed his race to African American during a tour break and is now “the richest African American under 21” and now no one can accuse him of pretending to act African American.
If one were to go to this article on empressleak.com and scroll down, there would be a list of comments on the matter. After scrolling through some of the comments someone posted a link to where this rumor had originated. If the reader were to click on this site link they would be led to the original source that this story emerged from. After researching what this source was about I found out that this original source is from a website called creambmp.com. This website is a satirical news website similar to “The Onion” whereas, they post made up news stories about controversial people and topics. On this website I read the exact story that empressleak.com had posted and each article were written identically verbatim.
This goes to show two things. The first being, that one website can take every word from the original source and post it as if it is the truth and appear to be the original source. It is very decieving and leads the audience to believe that the content is the truth. The second being, that the source where this false story originated from is a satirical news website and the majority of the time cannot be of use as a credible source to base knowledge off of and write a paper. But because it appears to be a real news website that is just slightly unheard of, people base their knowledge off of an incorrect rumor.
So not only was empressleak.com posting information verbatim that wasn’t theirs to begin with, but even the original source that appeared to be a credible website was in fact a satirical website.
This is goes to show how news in Hollywood gets lost in translation along the way and makes it a challenge for the public to decipher what is the truth and what is indeed a rumor.
Made Up Facts
In an article about one of the founders of Fox news, the author, Eric Alterman, talks about how facts can so easily be made up in the news today and portrayed as the truth “What was once considered a “fact”…becomes merely one pole in an endless “debate” in which actual evidence carries the same weight as total bullshit” (Alterman, The Nation). What Alterman is saying is that today reporters and other journalists report something as a “fact” and the news (online, paper, and televised) will share this information in such a way that the public will then believe it to be truth. But when in reality, these “facts” are actually complete "bullshit".
To Sum It All Up
To sum it all up, with all of the different forms of news and media today, it is so easy for news to get lost and miscommunicated along the way. There are websites that are posing as credible news sources online when in fact there is nothing credible about them. But because these websites are so easy to access to the public today, it makes it incredibly easy for us to portray those “facts” as truth when they’re indeed just rumors.
To go a little further, this doesn’t only happen with celebrity gossip. We see this in the everyday news channels. News reporters are often referred to “gatekeepers” meaning they have control over what we know and don’t know about what is going on in society. News channels also tend to be biased, whether they try to or not; in this way news stories get skewed because of the opinions of whoever is reporting about it.
So it is not only the websites that can skew the information reported, but also the news channels. Information gets lost in translation between the different means of communication that exist today which leads to the knowledge of society being often times, incorrect.
Advice To Incoming Freshmen
To the incoming freshmen, I would tell them that it is important to know where your sources of information are coming from. Often times when we are trying to find good and credible sources for our papers and other projects, we look wherever we can find any last speck of information. But what we often do not pay attention to is whether or not the original source is credible and worthy of citing in our projects. So, it is best to use the scholarly websites that your university offers to you because you are guaranteed credible information.
If you decide to not use the scholarly sources, then a few ways to check to see if your online sources that you found through the internet are credible or not is by looking at the bottom of the page at who wrote it, do research on the author/company, and check to see if it is outdated or not. All of these things are ways in which to verify if your source is credible or not. This is the best way to guarantee that you will not have incorrect information for your projects and there will be no way to use the false information that gets lost in translation among the means of communication just like the two Justin Bieber articles did.