Is the Media Corrupt?


Brooklynn Barbee and Aden Cole

Do you believe that the news you read online everyday is 100% truthful? There’s a lot of speculation around whether what we indulge in online is real or fake, and there are plenty of controversial opinions about the topic. Many people believe that news outlets spread fake news, but is that really truthful or just their personal opinions? Here’s why we believe the media might be more corrupt than we think.

An article written by Harvard Business News discusses the topic of untruthfulness in the news, talking about how they have come to the conclusion that it’s a corrupt and troubled institution. The article claims that the news is stuck in a cycle of “mutual manipulation, myth making, and self-interest.” Following up with the claim that Journalists make average situations seem like a crisis in order to dramatize news and make money. The article often uses the term “web of lies” to refer to the internet, furthering the idea that the media is not truthful or trustworthy. 

Paul H. Weaver is a political scientist and journalist who created the thesis that the media is unable to relay news truthfully and that the government is unable to govern correctly. His research in his article, “News and the Culture of Lying” explains in depth how the media is an overly dramatized and undisciplined industry. Speaking about how the media is not dependable because “anyone with a podium can join.” He claims the media now is full of few pertinent facts, but mostly with rumors and speculation. Providing more evidence that the media is more corrupt than reliable.

In the article, “The Fall, Rise, and Fall of Media Trust” the timeline of media/news trust is explained. It explains that around the 1960’s, faith in the news began to decline due to the multiple scandals and lies circulating the news. Many incidents happened over time from that point on, including things like President Nixon’s lies involving the Watergate incident. The article claims that in this time period from the 1960’s to now that “There has been a profound cultural shift in journalism.” It goes on to say that news stations owe us an explanation, to how they research and gather their information, their sources, the difference between a news department and the editorial page, and so on. Showing how the distrust in the news has been in our society for plenty of years now, and many people believe that we are owed an explanation and the truth.

That same article also has a section specifically on the trustworthiness of the Journalists themselves, the ones behind it all. It states that many journalists write from a specific set of values they have developed over many years of writing, not that they actually from a disinterested effort at truth. Claiming Journalists have spent years denying that their personal values have anything to do with their reporting. The public would resonate more with the media if Journalists actually followed the basic values of news- seeking truth. 

Overall, whether you truly believe the media is truthful or not is your personal choice. Over the years many media scandals and debunked news outlets have definitely brought a sense of distrust to the news. Article after article has been written about media dishonesty, but can we even trust those articles? The news definitely has a lot of moral changes to do when it comes to regaining the trust of the people who rely on the media. Whether they use it for keeping up with real world issues, or just pop culture drama.