Is the news media responsible for much of the decline in responsibility of the general populace?

One might easily blame "the news media" for many things. Cynicism about our political process. Exaggerated fear of crime, which is at historic lows, and of taxes, also at historic lows. Turning politics into a popularity contest. But to blame the news media for a "decline in responsiblity" is to assume that the American people are sheep. That we base our moral judgments not on how we were raised by our parents, church, teachers, but on how our worst politicians behave. That our deepest sense of humanity is not something we nurture from an early age but something we adjust according to what we saw on TV last night.

Though I deplore the dumbing down of history and politics at the hands of TV news, I have a higher opinion of the American people. If you truly believe there has been a "decline in responsiblity" among us - something I see no evidence of - I urge you to look deeper, within yourself and within others, before jumping on the bandwagon and blaming the media for this and everything else.

The Attic -- For a Kinder, Cooler America


Unless their dysfunctions are clinical in nature, people are responsible for their own shortcomings and failings. That includes being responsible for where they get their information. If you're looking for a reason why the news business has been fractured into so many conflicting factions, look no further than the internet, which made it possible.

The barriers for entry into the news business used to be truly enormous, which is why there were so few outlets: newspapers and then radio and TV stations and networks were not easy to set up. That meant everyone got the same news, more or less, and were at least on the same page as to what was happening, even if they didn't like it.

Now, of course, we all get to choose our own news, because of the proliferation of biased organizations that gain followers by telling them what they want to hear. Facts are distorted, false conclusions are reached, lies are promulgated and we're all poorer for it. If there's no objective source of truth, or if brainwashed people reject the truthful ones out of hand, it's impossible to have a rational conversation. At that point, "news" devolves into mere opinion.

If we're ever going to find our way back to the kind of neutral, objective journalism America used to be known for, we're going to have to seek out and support non-biased sources of information, and tirelessly expose the ones that aren't. The vast number of online information sources (see: low barrier to entry) will make that difficult, but I refuse to believe it's impossible.

I have a dream today.


Is the news media responsible for much of the decline in responsibility of the general populace?

The news media could be responsible for the decline in what way? The good old general public has abdicated their freedom to think what they want to think and to be responsible for that and themselves. They see themselves as victims and the media supports that. The public has given up their right to be individuals and dreams to be better versions of humans in order to fit in and to be "part of the _________" [Whatever group they seem to fit with most.]

The media has never had so much negative power on the public as now, but the public is responsible for their own decline.


No. It's a silly question. The media has always had unscrupulous and and dubious elements, even in the 17th century. However, in a liberal democracy, it overwhelmingly follows public opinion rather than determining it.

You are confusing the messenger with the message.


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