Reader’s responsibility

Staff Editorial: The opinion of the El Vaquero staff members

Images+Via+Unsplash

Images Via Unsplash

In a time with more access to information than ever, the media plays a crucial role in our daily lives. According to the Nielsen company, the amount of time US citizens spent online on mobile devices accessing current events and global news increased 215% from March 2019 to March 2020. 

The internet has significantly changed readers’ habits of receiving the news. In the past, people relied on traditional media, such as newspapers, television and radio, which involved fewer well-established sources of news. Now, social media platforms expose readers to instant online information that allows anyone to share content without fact-checking. Technology has allowed readers to access the latest news within seconds. While an increase in awareness of important current events like the ongoing pandemic, Black Lives Matter movement and the California wildfires is important, readers should be more responsible by reading straight from credible sources instead of customized news. 

Social Media has exposed us daily to more uncensored news. According to the COM Library, nearly half of the readers report that they see fake news stories on their social media at least once a day. With everyone guaranteeing the freedoms from the First Amendment Rights, consumers are exposed to more content without fact-checking. In other words, the amount of fake news on social media platforms is unbelievably high. Therefore, instead of getting your news from your social media, get it from a variety of trustworthy sources. 

In a generation where technology has advanced beyond our imaginations, we now ask for quick updates instead of detailed coverage on the latest news. However, this has caused us to blindly believe what we’ve read in that few seconds. A December 2016 survey by the Pew Research Center shows that 23% of U.S. adults have shared fake news, knowingly or unknowingly, with friends and others. Oftentimes, we only skim through the headlines without fully understanding the whole story and share the news story on our social media without knowing what the post is really about. Being informed with the latest news is good; however, we as readers need to be well informed. So next time, when you see a news story, please click into it and read it. 

Consumers of news sometimes blame the media for publishing biased news. However, we as readers should take the responsibility of seeking credible news sources. For instance, publications like CNN and Fox News segments would often have strong political views in their news reporting and mislead their readers. For instance, during the controversy of President Trump disparaging veterans, Jennifer Griffin, a Fox news reporter, confirmed the Atlantic’s saying about President Trump denying to honor veterans. However, later on, the same day, hosts Jesse Watters and Greg Gutfeld from the Fox news moved to discredit the Atlantic story, which in turn denied what Griffin stated. With trust in media declining, we should learn to spot the types of biased news.

Ultimately, consumers of news should take responsibility to seek trustworthy news publications like us. El Vaquero will do its best to provide accurate and fair information with the given freedoms. All staff members will uphold their position with the utmost care and honor, and serve Irvine High students with truth and honesty. Publications should do their role of providing accurate information, but we as readers must also be sure to obtain accurate news, corroborate with other resources and form our own positions. Next time, when you are scrolling through the news, be sure to stop and read the body paragraphs instead of window shopping the news.