The majority of people don’t have the luxury to keep themselves informed. Life simply prevents them to allocate the necessary time or budget to do so. The current state of journalism doesn’t help either.
At this age, the serious and trustworthy media assets are either sitting behind a paywall or are easily overtaken by viral fake news on social media. But this is for the people who actually possess the technical capabilities and equipment to consume online.
There are still many people without constant access to the internet. If connected, they are actually so, it is on a time-to-time basis. For those living in extreme poverty or close to the bottom line, they would choose to take care of themselves and their families first.
Another issue is also the quality of the published information. Investigative journalism and well-researched publications seem to be overtaken by pieces with catchy titles aiming for clicks and impressions way more than providing truthful and valuable content.
It is difficult for a single mother of two to keep up with the news. She has other things to worry about. It is also difficult for someone who has the time to trust Der Spiegel, when it turned out that one of the most decorated journalists was inventing characters and details in his award-winning investigative reports.
And these are just two examples. Thousands of other real-life scenarios could be added to the argument that we are living in a moment when news’ supply and demand more often than ever drift away from ethical norms.
There is no out-of-the-box recipe on how to fix this. The Internet has transformed life in many ways and this is just one of the aspects. And there is this period of readjustment that we are all observing.
Print and traditional broadcast media have given in on to the saturated space of online news outlets, blogs and social media. The reach is amplified to unseen before heights. Everyone can be the reporter and just as much as the story.
Being informed is not an easy task anymore just because of all the clutter and noise. And until people develop clutter and noise blindness the way they developed banner blindness, for example, news consumption and respectively trust will remain on shaky grounds.
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