Origins | Summer 2014

Page 22





In 2011, seven different surveys were published regarding the social awareness of citizens who watched certain popular cable news outlets. The results were consistent: on average, Fox News viewers were misinformed more often than those who watched other popular news outlets, and scored worse on knowledge of select topics than people who didn’t watch any major news outlets at all. The topics included in these studies ranged from knowledge about the political landscapes of Egypt and Syria, healthcare reform, election candidates, and man-made climate change.


o write history is to attempt to record important events, lifestyles, and situations. But it is said that history is written by the victors. How does a historian decide what is objectively relevant and worth recording? This has always been an issue for historians of the past, but in many ways, people who report news today are still faced with this dilemma.

The eye-opening surveys became popular enough that almost every outlet that dabbles in news seemed to publish articles about the ordeal–from reputable sources like Forbes and Huffy lex ington Post to the popuThe communication of notelar parody news show The worthy information concernosburgh Daily Show with John Stewing recent and important art. The issue sparked many deevents is reported to be the core bates, both into the misinforconcept of news. It’s what drives mation perported by Fox News and the entire industry. Many people other journalistic outlets, and have made careers by discovering into the nature of news itself. and discerning what exactly counts as news. However, the industry is Though a story like this may be fun not without its hiccups. What hapto joke about for those who don’t pens when some of those choices support Fox News or other mainare made poorly? What happens when stream media, the reality is that personal gain starts to overcome incidents like this aren’t isolatjournalistic integrity? The harm ed, nor is it the only questionable that could possibly come from not practice going on in news outlets. publishing a particular story, or giving coverage to one story over If you paid any sort of attenanother, is not often considered. tion to the media about a year But the fallout may be more severe ago in 2013, you’ve most certainthan one would first realize.











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