by Randall CraigFiled in: Blog, Content, Insight, Make It Happen TipsheetTagged as: Digital Strategy, Executive Fluency
In the 1930s, there were two primary news sources: radio and the newspaper. They sent their correspondents around the world to gather news. These journalists would see and hear, verify and corroborate, investigate, and then expertly and objectively file their reports. The reader (or listener) would know that an editor provided oversight, and the publication (or radio station) stood behind the report.
When television came around in the 1950s, this model still worked. 70+ years later, media has evolved significantly, and so has “reporting.” Consider:
Probably the biggest change has been the impact of the social web – sometimes called citizen journalism.
In a certain sense, the internet is squeezing out traditional journalism. Something is gained, but something is also being lost. No guarantee of accuracy. No editing. No guarantee of independence. No oversight. While it is true that the wisdom of the crowd will expose the most egregious errors (and bias), there is no guarantee that what is being read is reporting, or merely opinion masquerading as reporting, or even propaganda pretending to be reporting.
As a result, consumers – and marketers – are easily trapped in their own echo chamber. They learn what they want to learn, from people they want to learn from. They don’t listen to the “other”, and they feed themselves data that is incorrect, biased, or corrupt. They don’t get exposed to the diversity of thinking and perspective that will allow them to make their best decisions.
We can’t turn back the clock on Social Media (and most don’t want to), but where do you get your data points for making your decisions? Collecting a diverse perspective is no longer the responsibility of professional journalists – it is now up to us. This week, ensure that you get that balance by consuming information from, and about, “the other”.
Historical Insight: Mainstream media never really was without bias. A photographer could choose an unflattering picture of a politician. An editor can choose a questionable headline. Or devote more space to stories that are critical of a pet issue. What’s new is that today we have a completely different set of checks-and-balances – and the reader is never sure what they are.
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