Media is more than interesting headlines
Media is the best form of information dissemination to a large audience.
Usually it is reporting on something that has happened, is of concern or is of media interest. It is not unusual to have a media spin on such topics, particularly if it is sensational of nature. The news is reported to sell newspapers.
Media reporting also has a bias, it will report what it perceives is of interest to its audience.
In a layperson’s mind, if information is relied in a certain way, then assumption of authenticity exists.
Often therefore, newsworthy items do not get reported because they are not deemed suitable to that newspaper’s audience. So that audience misses out on items of reporting which could have been of interest to them.
When hardcore issues that need some grappling are reported, they can make great reading. In some cases, such news items demand a call for action, making such reports proactive and reflective.
Is there such a thing called responsibility of the media?
Does the media have the responsibility to research hardcore issues and present them in a proper, unbiased manner to the public at large? Or is the nature of reporting such that sensational issues, criminal activities, gossip, rumours, sports and entertainment news take precedent?
Does this tell us that we assume our audience cannot engage with anything other than what is presented to them?
How have we come to that conclusion?
Is it time to test the assumption? Is our audience really simply not interested?
To gauge some context, let us consider the rise of the social media.
It is rampant, tidbits are of great interest and we have an increasing audience extremely engaged in knowing about others tidbits. There is almost a hunger for it.
It is intimately looking into someone’s life. You are allowed to enter and participate and hence you are no more a peeping tom.
Hours are happily spent in this pursuit with the mind constantly engaged. There is no time to be lonely. Social Media such as Facebook, have become a part of life’s journey.
Given this trend, the hardcore issues may have become a things of the past.
What interests today is tidbits of individuals.
I believe that newspapers have a greater responsibility in covering issues that are pertinent.
The issues that we face today will determine our future and our New Zealand of tomorrow.
They may not be sensational or tidbits, but are real and here to stay. They will have a greater impact on our lives than rumours and gossip.
I have been a columnist for many months, bringing immigration issues to the forefront and creating discussion which otherwise may not have been possible.
It is commendable when newspapers give space for such issues to be brought to the public domain.