Politics: Separating The Media From The Truth


political media

With the political media we have, it is hard to know what the truth is.  Especially if you are just starting to learn about politics.  How do you separate media from reality?

There are different types of journalism.  Objective journalism just reports the facts.  Interpretive journalism is when reporters also analyze and interpret the facts.  Yellow journalism is reporting based on sensationalism and exaggerations.  Investigative journalism is when reporters spend a long time researching and analyzing a single topic.  And then there is partisan journalism, when reporters show clear favoritism or bias to a certain political party.

When you are trying to get the truth out of political media, it is important to recognize these journalism styles.  If you can see something is yellow journalism, like tabloids, then you know not to trust it.  If you are getting all of your information from one partisan news source, you will have a very narrow worldview.  Though objective journalism has been the trend since the 20th century, partisan media dominates television news.  There are channels like Fox News, who clearly lean to the right.  And there are programs on MSNBC which clearly lean left.  These channels do offer insight into the views of political parties, but they cannot be trusted as unbiased news sources.

Luckily, there are more alternative news sources popping up and different ways to get information about candidates.  So there is no need to rely on partisan sources to get your news.

To get the truth out of political media, it is best to look at a variety of sources.  This way, you are getting as many perspectives as possible.  My recommendation is to first get the cold hard facts from objective reporting, like the Skimm – they email you the headlines every week day.  Then use other types of sources to go in more depth.

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Yasmin Sara Merchant

Yasmin Sara studies International Political Economy and Communications at Fordham University. She loves to geek out about comics, TV shows, and tattoos. You can follow her on Tumblr under the username batglare.

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