Shorewood needs diversity in news sources

It’s no secret that American news has a tendency to be partisan, biased and at times inaccurate. We tend to associate these problems with the far right, blaming Fox News and Donald Trump for the rapid spread of misinformation in our country. But the truth is, getting news from a diverse variety of sources is something that Shorewood community members often fail to achieve.

Vox, CNN, and Washington Post are all news sources that slightly lean to the left. They’re also some of the main sources Shorewood community members tend to rely on. They are all relatively accurate in their reporting, so on the surface this uniformity in news sources isn’t a glaring issue. But they are all organizations that, by and large, will only confirm the ideas we already have about the world. They will give us the stories we want to see, in a way we are comfortable seeing. By only reading stories from media we agree with, we eradicate our ability to understand the opposing argument. 

This is a basic concept of persuasive essay writing that we’ve been told since elementary school: in order to effectively argue a point, you must understand the opposite view. How can we argue for feminism if we don’t have any way of understanding the misogyny that exists in the world? How can we defend American imperialism if we do not understand those impacted by it?

How can we defend American imperialism if we do not understand those impacted by it?

Exclusively using American news-sources limits the scope of our understanding. Americanized news routinely ignores global perspectives and often blurs the line between entertainment and information. Partisan thinking, which is often most prevalent in American politics, changes with a more global perspective. Viewing news sources like Al Jazeera, BBC and the Guardian can help to clarify national issues and fairly represent international ones.

Seeking out both diversity in the political party and global source of our news can contribute to a less biased and more well rounded understanding of the world. But in the end, we cannot fail to recognize the unavoidable bias in both how our news is written and what stories we see published. As student journalists, we can tell you first hand how difficult it is to find story ideas. What we write is in part determined by what ideas happen to be on our minds, by who we surround ourselves by and by what information is accessible. Bias exists. It can never be completely eradicated. Diversifying our sources of news is the best possible way to ensure we are hearing from all perspectives and therefore gaining a comprehensive view on national and global events.