Forgotten News – Reliable News
Reliable news seems to be pretty hard to come by these days. If we believe what we see or read on the news what does this translate to when so many articles conflict with each other? Do we believe the most recent story we have read? Do we just decide which one to ignore based on what our personal beliefs are? Or do we resolve to find out the true story and tell people about it? I suspect not.
News on TV seems some of the time to be almost as much about entertainment as it does about current affairs. In summer we see people sunbathing on beaches; in winter we see children sledging down hills. Is it never asked during these times what is actually going on in the world?
Newspapers and online content seem to have a better reputation – At least it is not so much about entertainment. When speaking to friends and family about this issue I ask them where they get their news from. Most believe that newspapers would give more reliable coverage than television. Most also seem pretty content that the BBC reliably informs them of current need-to-know news. But the BBC have got some stories inaccurate in the past. In May this year it was reported that “The BBC has been forced to apologise and pay damages to a Tunisian politician over a story published on its website last November, claiming false links with extremist groups.”
Serious political issues are misreported too by other newspapers. Last month the Sun ran a scaremongering headline about benefit tourists and immigration in the UK. Just a week later, on page 3 was the following notice:
There will be plenty of people who heard about the original article but never read the correction. These people will carry on believing that there are 600,000 benefit tourists in the UK, despite the fact that it was later corrected as there is absolutely no evidence to support it. This also leaves us suspecting that other articles too are false but don’t receive enough attention to be corrected.
The EU has long since been at the centre of ‘euromyths’ and unfair, inaccurate stories have been published for decades. From the serious to the plain ridiculous these have included ‘The EU accounts have not been audited’; Brussels is trying to build an EU army’; and my personal favourite “the EU is to ban curvy bananas’. With all of these stories a simple Google will reveal that they are in fact false and will give you the evidence rebutting these headlines.
It is wise sometimes to be sceptical of what we read and hear to be true. It’s also not difficult to research statistics to see where they have come from. As UK citizens in the 21st Century we have the right to accurate news without political agendas or propaganda. The question is: where do we find it?
By Laura Owen