Is mainstream news becoming unreliable?

Mainstream news is :


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#1
There has been a lot of talk about fake news. These types of news are hard to detect, usually originating from popular trends or ambiguous subjects/topics with seemingly persuasive narratives. They are a problem in this information laden society where gossip and rumors travel fast while facts are slow to follow.

In the past, educated individuals have relied on trusted and respected academic journals and magazines where peer review and examination of data/fact often time weed out fake studies/findings/misconception. These extracts are then parlay to the laymen via "mainstream" news reporting.

Lately, I have noticed myself doubting the reliability and accuracy of many mainstream news reporting. From their dubious reporting of the crime/gun statistics, their outright support for open borders, their hypocritical stories of gender gap/inequality, and everything wrong with Trump.

When I was in college, we had to take a course on college writing. We were taught that successful papers are objective, fair, and non judgmental. We present the facts and let the readers determine their conclusion in a well organized manner of pros/cons/context. Has mainstream journalism been so hobbled by the digital transition that they need to resort to inserting their bias and opinion into reports that should be objective to stay relevant in this digital age? Why is there so much dishonesty in mainstream news and what possible gain can they have by continuing on this path?

I would like to think that a good business model is one that relies on repeat customers. Reading some of these recent news articles is enough reason for me to doubt whatever credibility they had. Is this their wilderness that they are trying to find their way out of? I am very positive there are quite a demand for accurate ,objective and well written news articles.
 
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Sep 4, 2018
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#4
becoming? it's been that way for decades now at the very least. the media is the tool for the powerful. even when "speaking truth to power", the stories are edited a certain way, topics are guaranteed to only be framed to allow for certain viewpoints.

the 24 hour news cycle that birthed in the 90s guaranteed that entertainment/"eyes" would be the driving factor behind news. coincidentally that's when they pioneered "embedded journalism", where journalists were essentially regurgitating news drip fed to them directly from the State. the kind of propoganda we can be proud of. yes these wonderful people helped sell the War on Terror in the NYTimes 15 years ago.

even since the news has reported social media as if it is real news, the past 10 years or so, it took a nose dive into the shitter.
 
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Trey

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#5
It's about how it's always been: selective and primarily focused on entertainment/ratings rather than informing. The preponderance of news being delivered by talking heads and opinionated dialogue is truly a shame, because it puts the argument and bias before the facts and information.

But this is nothing new; Trump and social media just hyper boosted the news cycle.
 
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Zaru

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#6
There is often bias, inaccurate or agenda-driven reporting and all that, yes.
But there's no viable alternative. The "non-mainstream media" are ALWAYS biased, ALWAYS have an agenda and don't need to uphold any sort of hint of a standard with the accuracy of their reporting because that's not what people are coming to them for. You don't get the "real news" by avoiding whatever you deem mainstream media, you just get shit that appeals to your preconceived notions and political leanings. Selective coverage is extremely effective, you don't even need to lie directly.

Whatever decline there has been in the "mainstream" media is largely due to the consumers rather than any malice. The internet accelerated the flow of information so much that by the time you're able to fact-check a story and make a proper article, 500 other less serious news sites already made their clickbait articles and moved on to the next day. It's all to get dat sweet ad money because people aren't paying for proper newspapers/magazines anymore and subscriptions are hardly making up for the lost revenue.
Real journalism takes time and costs money, two things often directly opposed to each other in the current media business.
So if the consumers aren't paying enough, that opens the door to rich people putting their money into the media to "help out" - both on the side of the mainstream media and outside the mainstream.

If people wanted reliable, proper news, they'd pay for it. But too few seem to care, and that's how we ended up with THIS.
 
May 17, 2018
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#9
The news system is not perfect but I do believe for their own honor and integrity CNN and others work to get the story they do tell right.

Do they tell all the stories? No.
 
Likes: Urban Viking
May 26, 2011
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#10
unreliable. its all biased to me.

now, they arent on the level of making deep fakes, but still. its all just primitive form of the internet era, where its all about the clicks/views/likes. sensational mindless money making bs.
 
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Oct 3, 2004
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#13
Can you give us examples of dishonesty and bias in media reporting? Aside from Fox News, of course, since that's obvious.
Fox is state TV now.
Singling out Fox News was easy to do during Obama's terms in office. If, after two years of Trump's presidency, you're unwilling or incapable of seeing left-leaning news outlets having gone to similar lengths I have some serious questions for you.

The mainstream US news sources have all sunk to farcical depths, to the point that I place a higher value on their ability to entertain than to inform. They're unreliable because I seldom get two or more sides of the story from the same source, I often find myself having to seek out the story from a variety of left and right-leaning sources to get a better understanding. You've made a serious mistake when I'm running to Fox News and other conservative sources just so I can assure myself I'm not being played.

Most of American media does indeed strike me as being propaganda these days, painting their political party/issues in the most positive light while ignoring or downplaying the negative aspects of those stories. It's impossible to trust a news source caught doing that regularly.
 
Jun 20, 2018
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#14
Look at how neutral they are in licking pelosis ass right now and compare that to basically any reaction against any gop lead, there is your answer.
They are pro democrat mouthpieces/PR (with the exception of two) and since 2016 they dont even have the decency anymore to at least try and hide it.
I also dont take out the media in the EU in this for example how many people know that the yellow vest protests in france are still a thing?
I recon most people think this has stopped for the simple reason that the media stop reporting on it in hopes of it going away/ losing grassroots, the french goverment in their stupidity used the media silence to arrest the yellow vest leader.. with the obvious result lol
 
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Jan 13, 2018
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#16
Look at how neutral they are in licking pelosis ass right now and compare that to basically any reaction against any gop lead, there is your answer.
They are pro democrat mouthpieces/PR (with the exception of two) and since 2016 they dont even have the decency anymore to at least try and hide it.
Pro establishment democrat, which is a very important caveat. The bias is less about right and left. It's about establishment vs. agents of change.
 
Dec 3, 2013
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#17
Look at how neutral they are in licking pelosis ass right now and compare that to basically any reaction against any gop lead, there is your answer.
They are pro democrat mouthpieces/PR (with the exception of two) and since 2016 they dont even have the decency anymore to at least try and hide it.
Never gets old posting this:

No, they would nev...


Now you know why they were dubbed, Clinton News Network.
"Ted Turner changed the world. He's a big fan of yours... He would, uh, serve you, you know what I mean... I'd call him after you're elected. Think about it."" - Larry King
 
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Likes: Miku Miku
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#20
"Duplicitous", is the word I'd use, not "unreliable".

Unreliable implies that they really are trying their darndest, y'know, they're just having a hard time keeping all the facts straight. They're not driving an agenda, fabricating things, leaping to conclusions, and causing low-key panic whenever they can on purpose. No, it's just an oopsie, just an unreliable person making another accident.

Duplicitous, on the other hand...
 
Jan 14, 2015
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#23
I listen to podcasts and read newspapers, but I typically avoid the opinion section. Especially when any jackass can send in an op-ed and it passes without a second thought. 24/7 political news outlets are a cancer.
 
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Woo-Fu

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#24
Whatever you do, try to get the information on a given story from more than one source. Not only will you have a better chance at getting the full story, the differences between the articles will make it obvious how each outlet is spinning it.
 
Nov 12, 2016
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#25
The news is a waste of time. Seriously, what kind of things have you learned from it? Don't tell me some opinion piece from the NYT. It's biased and driving propaganda.
 

Mr Nash

square pies = communism
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#27
They rarely ever were in a pure sense. I got suspicious of them 20 years ago when they went from claiming to report the news to saying they were "explaining" the news.
 
Jun 17, 2013
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#28
Can you give us examples of dishonesty and bias in media reporting? Aside from Fox News, of course, since that's obvious.
I can give you a couple from NBC.
The first would be their pretty gross selective editing of their JP interview to distort things. As bad as that was, I personally find this one far worse:
They published a video about how gaming, in particular discord, was enabling the alt right. Bad enough as is, but during this video they posted a series of 'tweet's which were supposedly from gamergate, adding the gamergate hashtag, and omitting the user name and recipient of the tweets, and highly implied this was evidence of harassment of journalists. Thing is, the original actually tweets did not have any GG references in them, they all came from a single user, all to the same social media commentator, not a journalist, and there is even serious question if said series of tweets are authentic, and even if they were if they had anything to do with gaming as that too they don't mention. I see they have FINALLY taken said video down after nearly a year being up but you can find numerous videos about it's deception online still.
NBC has continued to prove to me time and again they they aren't just Fake news, they are garbage news, even worse then the likes of Brietbart. They aren't just simply biased, or incompetent, they are deliberate liars.

As to the topic's question, yes, MS news is seriously unreliable, but I think this has been a thing for a long time, it is just recently with the explosion of SM that we have the means to identify their unreliability more. It is a mix of strong biases, sensationalism for ratings, laziness, and just plain ignorance. Seriously, you can almost be assured that any report about some new scientific research is woefully misinformed to downright deceptive, and that's been a thing for ages. And this isn't particular to a side. Right, left, it doesn't matter, they all do it.

That said, we unfortunately don't really have a better option. SM is terrible too. So, best you can do is expose yourself to as much as you can to get as many threads of the truth as possible, and try to weed out what is BS and what isn't. Sadly, that is a very time intensive thing that most don't have the time for.
 

Alx

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Jan 22, 2007
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#30
All news are biased, one way or another. Even with the most ethical and professional habits, it can't be prevented. That's why good information doesn't rely on a single source, but a multiplicity of sources, with an added layer of critical thinking. Don't believe everything you're told : whatever the medium, go check their sources, go check the counter-arguments of other media, and build your own opinion.
News aren't supposed to give you truths, they're supposed to give you pointers to piece of information. But that's only the first step of your own thinking.
 
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#33
Yeah, it’s becoming unreliable since the early 20th century.
It probably was always bullshit now its just more apparent because everyone is connected.
For example take ww1 you dont get people to support masslaugher just because one member of the elite got shoot/the war industry was ready, nope you have to sell a certain type of bullshit to get to ww1 from that.
 
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Likes: TheGreatYosh
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#34
It probably was always bullshit now its just more apparent because everyone is connected.
For example take ww1 you dont get people to support masslaugher just because one member of the elite got shoot/the war industry was ready, nope you have to sell a certain type of bullshit to get to ww1 from that.
Yep. Been going on since the beginning of modern written civilization with the media, religion, or bards.

Those in control, control the mainstream narrative.
 
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Rentahamster

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#35
Can you give us examples of dishonesty and bias in media reporting? Aside from Fox News, of course, since that's obvious.
I heard from this ex-CIA that for years, only 10% the "news" (as it were) is reliable, or true, from where he operated.
Ex-CIA? He might be familiar with this, then:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Mockingbird

Operation Mockingbird
is a large-scale program of the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that began in the early 1950s and attempted to manipulate news media for propaganda purposes. It funded student and cultural organizations and magazines as front organizations.[1]

In a 1977 Rolling Stone magazine article, "The CIA and the Media," reporter Carl Bernstein wrote that by 1953, CIA Director Allen Dulles oversaw the media network, which had major influence over 25 newspapers and wire agencies.[6] Its usual modus operandi was to place reports, developed from CIA-provided intelligence, with cooperating or unwitting reporters. Those reports would be repeated or cited by the recipient reporters and would then, in turn, be cited throughout the media wire services. These networks were run by people with well-known liberal but pro-American-big-business and anti-Soviet views

The most extensive discussion of CIA relations with news media from these investigations is in the Church Committee's final report, published in April 1976. The report covered CIA ties with both foreign and domestic news media.

For foreign news media, the report concluded that:


The CIA currently maintains a network of several hundred foreign individuals around the world who provide intelligence for the CIA and at times attempt to influence opinion through the use of covert propaganda. These individuals provide the CIA with direct access to a large number of newspapers and periodicals, scores of press services and news agencies, radio and television stations, commercial book publishers, and other foreign media outlets.[8]

For domestic media, the report states:


Approximately 50 of the [Agency] assets are individual American journalists or employees of U.S. media organizations. Of these, fewer than half are "accredited" by U.S. media organizations ... The remaining individuals are non-accredited freelance contributors and media representatives abroad ... More than a dozen United States news organizations and commercial publishing houses formerly provided cover for CIA agents abroad. A few of these organizations were unaware that they provided this cover.[8]
 
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Aug 22, 2018
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#40
Singling out Fox News was easy to do during Obama's terms in office. If, after two years of Trump's presidency, you're unwilling or incapable of seeing left-leaning news outlets having gone to similar lengths I have some serious questions for you.

The mainstream US news sources have all sunk to farcical depths, to the point that I place a higher value on their ability to entertain than to inform. They're unreliable because I seldom get two or more sides of the story from the same source, I often find myself having to seek out the story from a variety of left and right-leaning sources to get a better understanding. You've made a serious mistake when I'm running to Fox News and other conservative sources just so I can assure myself I'm not being played.

Most of American media does indeed strike me as being propaganda these days, painting their political party/issues in the most positive light while ignoring or downplaying the negative aspects of those stories. It's impossible to trust a news source caught doing that regularly.
I'm glad you're doing this but it still leaves a problem - if you'releft-leaning and go to Fox for balance that gives you a reasonable right-leaning critique of a left-wing position, but where do you go for a left-leaning critique? Often that can give you angles missed by the right. The same applies to right-wingers using left sources.

Mainstream news has long been fucked. eg 2010 Thai political mess - nobody in the west reported the rocket launchers being fired at trains, the heavy weaponary I saw with my own eyes at the redshirt camps, the blatant funding by Thaksin Shinawatra, the Cambodian merceneries, because it all went against the media narrative of a peasant uprising.

Oh and just to add non-mainstream is even worse (see RT, Breitbart etc)
 
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May 22, 2018
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#42
Originally I trusted outlets, but now I trust specific people rather than the whole outlet itself. For example if I see Shepard Smith reporting on something I am gonna take it far more seriously than if I see Hannity or Carlson reporting on something. Same thing goes for CNN. If I see Tapper or Cooper reporting on something I am gonna take it more seriously than if I see Cuomo reporting on something. Some people have proven themselves worthy or trust in my opinion and others have shown they deserve no trust at all. Though I will say that there are certain outlets that I just give the benefit of the doubt to most of the time. NPR, NYT, WSJ, AP, and WaPo are a few off the top of my head that I subscribe to because for the most part there reporting is solid. I still fact check when I can and initially take it with a grain of salt, but I have only been let down a handful of times.


Overall it just comes comes down to what exactly is being reported, who is reporting it, and what the actual facts are regarding the situation. Then I make my conclusions and my judgements.
 
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Rentahamster

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#43
I'm glad you're doing this but it still leaves a problem - if you're left-leaning and go to Fox for balance that gives you a reasonable right-leaning critique of a left-wing position, but where do you go for a left-leaning critique?
https://theintercept.com/
https://www.motherjones.com/
https://www.youtube.com/user/TYTComedy/videos
https://www.youtube.com/user/SecularTalk/videos
https://www.youtube.com/user/MikeAnthonyTV/videos
https://www.youtube.com/user/TheYoungTurks/videos
https://www.youtube.com/user/SamSeder/videos

to name a few

Glenn Greenwald's Twitter is also very active and has concise takes on the news: https://twitter.com/ggreenwald
 
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Nov 12, 2009
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#47
Mainstream media hasn't been reliable since it's inception. Now the only thing that I find truly relevant is local media. They actually report interesting and pertinent things while also adding some of the national important news. Unfortunately most of the MSM is leaning heavily in one direction but only one gets chastised for it's direction(Fox News) while all of the others strangely get a free pass. There are lots of "smaller" news outlets that skew hard left like New York Times but also get a free pass for some reason. Personally I just take a bit of it all since I use Google News(known for left leaning algorithms and right censorship) but I only block a few sources such as Fox News, CNN, NBC, NYT, Washington Post, Huffington Post, and Breitbart. To me those are the worst of the worst. I personally put it to heavily favor on NPR as they are probably the biggest and most "neutral" of all of the sources. They don't add too much "flavor" to their reporting and most of their skewed things are in their stories rather than reporting(which is actually pretty cool).

Side Note: I find Joe Rogan(left leaning) and his podcast which seems to focus on a lot of liberal and left leaning guests to be very interesting and more informative than news. However, I think the format allows for things to be more informative as actual detail can be given and perspective can be provided.

I really do not like the extremes on either end of the spectrum.
 
Jun 18, 2018
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#49
Most media have little to no credibility on their own, but it is an individual responsibility to explore the context of their headlines and the basic facts of each case they promote.
 

Zaru

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#50
Why are most news outlet left leaning? I really want to know since most new outlet try to ignore the yellow jacket mess in France beside Fox news
Major news organizations and publications are usually situated in notable cities. That explains a large part of the demographic. You can't usually run a nationally important news organization from Nothingtown, Mississippi.