For many years now I have been an avid follower of many independent/unorthodox news outlets. I used to (and am now ashamed to admit it) be a keen follower of certain mainstream media outlets such the sun, daily mail, Fox and the BBC etc to give me information and keep me upto date with what is happening with the world.
I used to take everything the mainstream media said as Gospel, I was a sheep consuming every little last word they told me. A drone, incapable of making my own mind up and believing every single article I read. Which was in the long term creating a hateful and resentful mindset which was changing the very beliefs and views I pride myself on and stand by.
For example, a good number of years ago when I was around 16 I began reading articles from the daily mail with regards to Muslims. I was starting to believe that Islam was a hateful religion, that all the Muslims throughout Britain were trying to enforce sharia law and that they were all terrorists sympathisers with the same ideology. Because I was so uneducated about Islam I allowed this hateful, xenophobic propaganda to consume my thoughts and it soon began to subconsciously radicalise me. Luckily for myself, I began to do my own research into Islam and Muslims in depth. What I found was far from this “hateful group of terrorists” that I was lead to believe they were, I found a peaceful and misunderstood religion that was being held responsible for the actions of a very small minority of extremists. It was round about this time I started to have my doubts about what I was reading and watching, a blessing in disguise you could say.
Many other things happened which made me start to question the big news outlets and media, the main one for me was the BBC during the Scottish referendum. I honestly couldn’t believe how certain things were being covered as to the sheer blatant biased reporting in favour of the union. Being involved and present at a lot of events/incidents during and after the referendum I knew positively that what they were reporting was either blatant lies or a distortion of the truth.
For the last couple of years I have been following a number of smaller/independent news outlets on Facebook and online. Outlets which I myself truly believed were genuine and neutral, with journalists who actually reported things fairly. The main focuses on these outlets were things that I took a massive interest in, such as politics, equality, corruption and stories of what had happened that day all over the world. But within the last year I began to question what they were reporting, and the way they were reporting it. I myself, am a left wing type of person. This created a problem because the sites I was following I soon found out were the same, so I was getting my news from their perspective of it. Which suited mines. The problem being is that I wasn’t getting the whole story, I was getting propaganda. Some would post videos ridiculing or complaining about something someone had said, but when I watched the whole speech on youtube I began to notice they were editing parts of the speech to suit their agenda.
Most news outlets will lean towards a side. Left or right wing, liberal or conservative or will be a mouthpiece for a certain government, monarchy or company. Trying to find a fair and balanced news outlet is like trying to find a needle in a haystack, it’s extremely difficult but there is a chance you will.
As Denzel Washington once said, “If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you do read it, you’re misinformed”. That is a saying that is so so accurate, it is scary! The only advice I can give is that if you read a story or watch a video, find another outlet reporting on the same story or video and watch it. Make your own mind up about it, research into things yourself and absolutely question everything.
You have to bear in mind whenever you are reading an article, or watching a news story you are getting that story told from the journalist’s perspective and their respective employers own opinion on it. So even this article you’re reading which I have wrote has been written by my perspective and it’s based on my opinion. I hope for the people who watch or follow these outlets/pages that you question what you are reading or viewing in the future and try to get the whole story not just someone’s personal opinion on it.