Rise of the New Media

It's no secret. 

So what confuses me is why more people haven't just come out and said it.

The mainstream media, and by that I mean the main networks such as ABC, CNN, Fox, NBC, etc., all have a distinct and obvious bias. Whether that bias be toward the right, left or center, they all have a bias. How, one might ask, can I say that? It’s pretty easy. Each network has something in common - they are all run by humans.
As humans, we have opinions. That’s a fact of life. Each and every one of us has a worldview specific to ourselves. Others may have similar perspectives. But no two of us are alike and therefore, no two of us will line up exactly when it comes to opinions.
Going to the mainstream media for unbiased reporting on anything from global warming climate change (sorry!), to police violence, gun rights/control, marriage, family, abortion, or any other topic is patently ridiculous. Why? Because everyone has a bias.
Now, let me be clear. Having a bias is not a bad thing. As stated, we all have one. The question is, are we upfront and honest about it? Or do we skulk around denying its existence and pretending to be the sole, impartial arbiter of events?
As demonstrated by the GOP debate last week, people are waking up to these facts. And those who have already woken up (or perhaps never fell asleep in the first place) are sick and tired of the charade. Ted Cruz pointed this out very well -
The “debate” was largely a joke. The questions asked were not designed to get to the heart of the issue, but instead to cause controversy and to provide that “gotcha” moment for the ever hungry media. Despite it all, however, the candidates, by and large, handled it admirably.
But after all that, we find ourselves as citizens in a conundrum. If everyone has a bias, where can I possibly turn to find out what is going on in the world? Do I only listen to those whose bias lines up with mine? Important questions and I’m so very glad you asked.
We live in a new era. Technically we have been living in it for several years, but it seems to me that more and more people are ‘getting it’, realizing the power of what I like to call “The New Media”.

With the vast availability of information online, our news and opinions don’t have to come from just a few mainstream sources anymore (as demonstrated by this expertly crafted blog). We have options. And lots of them.
The important thing is to vary your intake. Just like your regular food diet, fixating on one particular food or food group exclusively is not healthy for you. Neither is feeding exclusively on one particular point of view. If you agreed with and only watched NBC, your ideas would cease to be challenged. They would be reinforced everyday, non-stop leaving you developmentally stagnated in your worldview. The same goes for Fox or any other network or news source. And nobody who’s honest with themselves wants to be developmentally stagnated.

If you’re afraid to hear the other side’s point of view, then you need to seriously consider why you believe what you believe. If you cannot defend your ideas, if they can not stand up to criticism and fair debate, they are probably not ideas worth having.
So expand your horizons. Ask the hard questions, not of others but of yourself.

Jonathan Paine


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