Please Support - Ride for the child

Today I decided to write a post on the news. It’s a strange topic but after dwelling on my thoughts for a few months I thought I had some good ideas, which combined, could make a good post.

I make an effort each day to spend some time reading the news and ensuring I’m up to date with the latest happenings. You never know when a bit of new information could come in handy and I think it’s important to know what’s going on around the world.

I had a think today about my news sources and I realised that I access it from quite a few places. Some more humorous than others! Some of the articles and reports are absolutely ridiculous and others offer a much more unbiased, balanced view. Some of the sources and articles really frustrate me and I wanted to outline just how obscene they are, and the impact they may have on society.

Bedtime reading

Each night, before bed, I log onto the Daily Mail (DM) app and skim all the news articles. Those of you who are familiar with the DM may be laughing at the thought of this. For those who aren’t sure what’s wrong with the Daily Mail, I can sum it up in one word. Dire.

So why do I read it?

As a web designer with a strong interest in the interface and functionality of websites I have found DM to be the best. But the main two reasons I use the app before bed is 1- for the giggle, and 2- for the comments section.

Some articles aren’t too bad, but overall the standard of journalism is poor with extremely biased and poorly constructed articles. Most of the articles are accompanied with a comments section, which offers some very good views and opinions. I often quickly skim the article and head straight to the comments and I’m always impressed with them. There is a voting system and the best comment will always be found at the top, this reassures me that the vast majority people are on the same wavelength and share the same thoughts.

Some articles are – quite frankly – abysmal. We’ve recently had the missing Malaysian airplane and the DM newsfeed has been full of articles which features nothing but speculation and outrageous assumptions. For example, DM have scrutinised the lives of the two pilots, linking them to terror groups and suicide plots with little or no evidence at all, something which must be heart-breaking for all involved.
I get the impression that the DM have little compassion for their readers and their sole aim is to make articles with headlines featuring manipulated words which bare little or no resemblance to the truth.  More often than not the factual information, which is generally located at the end of the article will contradict the alarmist headline and initial paragraph.

They also like to make sure they include the earnings, value of property, current motor vehicle and many other obscene facts of those in the articles, even if they are deceased.  You can often find that DM are racist or at least trying to stir racial arguments. They love to pick on the wealthy and seem to hate foreigners, immigrants, homosexuals, single mothers, atheists, liberals, pacifists, and so on.

The comments are excellent and it’s amazing how people can use a small number of words to totally shoot down the huge DM articles. I must say I’ve learnt much more from reading the comments and it’s taught me to have a non-biased view until I’ve considered all the EVIDENCE, it’s very easy to jump to conclusions.

Daytime reading

I like to make use of the BBC website on a daytime. I really like the design and structure of the site. It’s easy to use and I find their articles very informative and well written.

I feel that their news articles are well summarised and are give a neutral impression, they are neither for nor against most stories. They offer facts and statistics and allow the reader to form opinions for themselves. I have never known the BBC to jump to conclusions and they won’t release news reports that contains a load of dribble, unlike the DM. Their articles are accompanied by images and videos and they also include graph and other forms of presentation that offer facts and statistics, something which is great for educational purposes.

The BBC site also has a comments section but it’s “reactively-moderated” and some posts are removed very quickly. To their credit, DM leaves all comments intact, even if they are mocking them directly. I’m not sure if this is international or not, but it sure gets a laugh out of me.

The biggest benefit of the BBC website is the iPlayer. It’s a fantastic learning resource and has featured some very interesting documentaries. I sometimes squeeze one into my dinner hour. You can also catch up on the soaps and Dramas if that’s your thing. The mobile app and website are also both equally impressive.

Other sources

Twitter is perhaps the best newsfeed in the world. If something happens you will be sure to see it on there almost immediately. It’s tough to form an opinion in 140 characters but people often post useful links so that you can check things out for yourself.

Facebook is similar to Twitter in the sense that news travels fast but the majority of the people I follow on twitter are professional people so their comments generally reflect that. My friends on FB are often gullible, awful grammar and the worst possible opinions; perhaps they work for the DM.

Word of mouth is often a good way of finding the latest news but the authenticity of it will vary depending on the person and where they sourced the information.

Are there consequences?

I personally think the economy is often manipulated and brainwashed by the media. I would like to think that most people could form their own opinions and thoughts but sadly there are lots of people who read something and take it as gospel. This can have a huge knock on effect for people reputations, governments, companies, emergency services and many more, in fact the list is endless.

I don’t know much about the William Roache case but his arrest, trial and acquittal was well documented in the media. No more so than the DM who took it into their own hands to publicly humiliate the bloke before any evidence had been heard. I have no idea if he was really innocent or guilty but other newspapers at least considered evidence before forming opinions and didn’t jump on the bandwagon. I think the Jimmy Saville story was fresh in the mind of the DM journalists and they wanted Roache hung drawn and quartered while he’s still alive.

This is just one of hundreds of reports I have seen from the DM that will have ruined peoples lives in order to sell papers. Again can I point out that some deserve to be publicly humiliated but I would rather than happen after they have been found guilty and the truth has been uncovered.

I meet so many people who have skimmed a news article or seen a picture and they automatically form an opinion, this information might be shared with their family and friends and those naïve enough to absorb the information (without knowing the truth) will pass it on further, deluding others and spreading like wildfire.

I think that newspapers such as the DM increase the likelyhood of racism, violence and stupidity around the world. Would the world be a better place if newspapers cleaned their act up? No one can really say for sure, but I can think of more positives than negatives.