In an age where microblogging is the new blogging and social media is king, it is not surprising that most of us internet junkies get our daily fix of global events and top news stories from our laptops rather than our newspapers. Exposure to trending news is unavoidable since it pervades every aspect of our online lives. From frenzied Tweeting to debates on friends’ Facebook walls about recent developments in healthcare reform, public opinion and commentary are nearly inescapable.
In a sense we are seeing a downfall in journalistic integrity. Most sources of news interject sensationalism and media bias liberally throughout their news stories in order to garner large audiences and even larger profits. However, sometimes even those known for their stellar journalism cannot adequately provide their consumers with the quality of information they require.
There is no sense in knowing something big is happening if we don’t know why it’s happening, or the whole story. Some popular and credible sources of quality journalism have started to provide political, economic and social commentary rather than simply laying out the bare facts for their readers because the truth is that sometimes even the bare facts are fabricated and manipulated. Some would even say that it is the responsibility of news corporations to provide news analysis, to evaluate facts and present their readers with a comprehensive and informative assessment of what is really going on in the world, not just what the bare facts seem to imply.
The 21st century news consumer doesn’t just want to know what is making the news. He or she also wants to know the why and hows behind the stories. We no longer let the big news corporations tell them us what is going on in the world- we actively seek and interpret various sources of news in order to make sense of our world- and then we post our findings online to share with the world.
“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference, and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers” articulates Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Luckily for us, living in the internet age means we can pick and choose what we’d like to read whether it’s news or commentary.
It must be noted, though, that with millions of consumers who have wealth of information and tools of expression at their fingertips, the superfluity of commentary as opposed to “news” is to be expected since there are only a handful of major news corporations providing the latter.