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Chapter 7 Essay and Discussion
In chapter 7 of We The People (Ginsberg, et. al.), we discuss the Media in its different mediums. The first amendment gives Americans freedom of speech and freedom of the press. American’s freedom of speech is one of our most valued rights. According to We The People ” The American news media are among the worlds freest and most diverse” (Ginsberg, et.al.). The press is the fourth branch of our government, that helps create checks and balance within the government.
Print media or newspapers is the oldest medium in which Americans attain important information. Although newspapers are a dying industry, they still continue to be the primary source of information for politicians and the elite. Print journalism is more accurate, in that journalist have standards that are upheld when reporting the news. They offer more information simultaneously (Ginsberg, et. al.). They have several sources, and must fact check before reporting. If the story they report prove to be incorrect, they are required to retract what they reported. Despite their accuracy and diversity newspapers provide, they are not the most popular source of media.
Most Americans chose to obtain their political news, local, environmental and entertainment news from the internet. Social media is now amongst the most popular way in which Americans get new information. Twitter and Facebook now play an important role in politics. Politicians, interest groups, and activist all use these social media sites to share information. Normal citizens can also share their political opinions protected by the first amendment. Blogs are created, followed and shared oftentimes by like-minded individuals. The problem with this medium of information is that we are subject to bias news reporting or one point of view.
Because of modern technology, normal citizens can now report on events, scandals, and important news not reported by the media. As the saying goes “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Pictures, videos, and recordings can hold serious ramifications and in many cases have helped steer public opinion. But it is important to remember that the context is important. Sharing only one snippet of a video can be deceiving. Because a lot of what is shared online is not fact checked or upheld to journalistic integrity, Americans opinions can be swayed by dishonest information.
The 2016 election was reported nonstop by most media sources. The problem was that the news that was being shared was fueled by ratings, and the publics desire to be entertained. Newspapers continue to provide important information that can sway politicans opinions. In turn, this might affect legislation, and laws that are passed by our government. Obtaining information that is accurate is important and should be valued by all Americans. The internet has provided a way to obtain a vast variety of information, but it falls on the reader or viewer to fact check the information.
We The People, Ginsberg, et. al. (2017).