Commentary

TV News, Media And Truth: Separating Facts From High-Intensity Fiction

We know U.S. consumers have been intently focused on the quality of news content — via traditional media, TV, print, digital and highly scrutinized social-media content.

The bad stuff, in particular, gets the high-glare: unreliable, misinformed or just inaccurate news content.

This can include misleading news from other nontraditional sources -- say specific governmental officials. Those “fake news” cries from President Trump, for example. Keepers of the truth? This is why we need a free press more than ever.

A recent Knight Foundation study shows Americans feel the majority of the news on TV, radio and in print is accurate -- but that 44% is “inaccurate.”

A more conflicting piece is that 64% of news on social media is inaccurate, say Americans polled. At the same time research shows about two-thirds of Americans say they get some of their news from social media. There’s your love-and-hate relationship. Media and traditional TV are your disappointing significant other.

Another key result: The Knight Foundation says 80% of U.S. adults are “angry” or “bothered” about being expose to biased information.

That said, little research has revealed what Americans want to do about this anger. Stop consuming news from social media — or traditional linear TV news networks? Nope.

If anything, there is generally more news consumption on these outlets than ever before. Has Facebook suffered? Are advertisers really pulling back? The next quarterly results aren’t in yet, but I’m guessing, those double-digit percentage gains in ad revenues will still be around.

So we return to a lauded American value, a “free press.” If we allow all comers to take a whack at reporting on news -- as well as the highly controversial TV opinions — the wheat will separate itself from the chaff. This will remain as long as our belief in journalism continues -- and as long as we don’t have any gluten sensitivity.

The end result? TV’s version of the truth may be way less dramatic at times. It's not meant to be a dramatic series. But maybe, it will deliver relevant information viewers can easily digest.

Next story loading loading..