Mainstream media, also known as the corporate press, is under harsh criticism and skepticism by the public and independent media outlets. Corporate media is no longer completely trusted, which makes the public disregard the dominant news narrative.
How did America get to this point where big news is disregarded and hardly even trusted for basic event coverage?
The answer to this question is hardly black and white. However, one reason for the decline in the trustworthiness of the mainstream press could be their lack of transparency in the digital world. Nowadays, news stories are not taken at face value. They need hyperlinks and solid evidence embedded (as well as credentialed sources) within their articles to be considered accurate. When newspapers and mainstream outlets are not completely transparent, the public feels as though they are hiding something. Times are changing and, unlike the mainstream press, bloggers understand that transparency is the new objectivity.
According to blogger David Weinberger, “What we used to believe because we thought the author was objective we now believe because we can see through the author’s writings to the sources and values that brought her to that position.”
Therefore, bloggers let readers in to their biases and information gathering processes, which makes independent media sources seem more credible to the general public.
But the mainstream press hides behind outdated views of ‘objectivity’ to obscure the real stories from the public. They do not want the public to see what corruption is really happening within the government and corporate America because they are corporate America. It just wouldn’t make sense to let the public see the truth like that. In this way, the mainstream press operates like a two-way mirror. The corporate press on one side – able to see and watch the public – and the public on the other side – not being able to see anything but a distorted (and inaccurate) view of the world around them, knowing that what they are looking at is falsified. And because of this disconnect, the trust in corporate media declines over time.
And when the public turns away from the mainstream media, the independent press is there with stories that are more representative of the American culture, struggle and success. And in this way indy media is like a window. There is an obvious barrier (bias, agendas) between the public and the truth but it is clearly displayed letting the readers decide what to believe more freely because the facts are all laid out in front of them, all they have to do is look through.
“Why should we trust what one person — with the best of intentions — insists is true when we instead could have a web of evidence, ideas, and argument?”
It’s high time that the public starts looking out windows instead of at discolored reflections of the truth.