How Did We Get Here? Transformations in News

News has always been around. The way we have received our news has changed many times over our human history, but it has indeed been around even since the primitive days of cave paintings. There have been numerous transformations of news ranging from cave paintings to writing, writing to printing, printing to telegraphs, telegraphs to radio, radio to television, and finally television to digital technology. Over all of these years of receiving news we have made progress in how the news is delivered; or so it seems. In the present day we are in the digital technology stage. News is delivered very quickly and it is very accessible. But is it very accurate? The two transformations of news that I believe are the most important are television and digital technology.

The reason why I picked television as one of my two most important is because, in my opinion, television before the digital technology age was the last time people saw unbiased news. Just like Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel mentioned in Blur, the Three Mile Island in

tv

Free photo by Sven Scheuermeier from unsplash.com

1979 would become one of the last domestic emergencies covered by the media without the concepts of “message of the day” or “spin”. Back in those days media delivered actual news. They did not deliver different versions or different spins on things. They simply stated what happened and they stated the facts. That is what news is and that is what it should be in my opinion. Television before the digital age seemed like it was great. I was not yet born to live during that age myself, but I feel like I would’ve enjoyed it. From the information I have gathered from Blur, television was good, old-fashioned, unbiased news. During those times of television, people could not pick and choose what they wanted to hear. There was one version of a story and that was the version that reported facts; short, sweet and to the point. That, unfortunately, is not the case today in the world of digital technology.

In the age of digital technology there are many different sources of news. This can be seen as a good thing as many people are now able to access news. However I would argue that it is not so good because with there being so many news companies, there is more competition to make profits. Reporters are more focused on making things interesting, rather than making things more factual and accurate. A lot of times articles that are more far fetched will get more views than articles that depict what actually happened, and this works. A lot of times what actually happens is far more boring than what people want to read about. Now rather than just stating the facts on what happened, reporters will take a “spin” on things. They will stretch the truth or assume things and use their imagination to make things more interesting. Some reporters may speak more favorable to one side of an argument and another reporter may do the opposite. This bias results in a lot of people reading about just one side or the other rather than taking both sides of a story into account. This leads to a lot of uninformed people and may also lead to a lot of conflict, which is not what news was meant to do.

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