The Media: A News Source or a Profitable Business?

The Media: A News Source or a Profitable Business?

Photo Credit: Alexander Mils

Be aware of inherent biases within our news sources. 

Emily Hospedales, Associate Opinion Editor 

The world has been made ever so small by technological advancements in communication, which facilitate the instantaneous transmission of information across the globe. We depend on news sources, differing in medium and platform, for information. It is important, however, to acknowledge and analyze these large media corporations for what they are: businesses in constant search of profit.  

Although it is true that many news sources do share, at least to some extent, valuable insights on global events, we must be aware of the deep rooted racial, social, cultural, and religious prejudices within society and these bureaucracies. Doing so will open the gateway for their output to contain these biased and discriminatory elements.  

We cannot escape the media — it surrounds us — be it on our phones, social media, the radio, TV, or word of mouth. It is a powerful force that can influence our thoughts and actions, further polarizing and leading to destructive effects within societies and nation states.  

We often fail to remember that the media belongs to companies who are in constant search of avenues to make their businesses profitable. Certain news items are brought to the forefront and others are pushed to the sidelines (or entirely ignored) based on factors such as interest or popularity. As a result, there is a large disparity in the level of attention given to certain headlines in comparison to others.  

We must also think about what effect this has on many of us as viewers of Western media. We must be conscious of what we are consuming. Although we may tell ourselves that we are not going to allow what we read or hear about to infiltrate our minds or dominate our thinking, this is easier said than done. These companies are marketing masters and present money-making hot topics in eye-catching ways, which often leads us to ignore more pertinent, but less popular or marketable issues. 

How can we combat the subjectivity of Western media? To this I do not have any definitive answer. However, as individuals, next time we are watching or reading up on current “global” affairs, we must remember to investigate past the headlines and consider marginalized articles of often equal, or greater urgency, than those given all the attention.