What’s the biggest threat facing journalism right now and what should we do about it?
I think many would say that native advertising is the biggest threat to journalism right now, but I disagree. Yes, native advertising can be misleading but I think it’s smart on the advertisers for doing it. It teaches us to be more aware which comes in handy in any situation. I think the real threat is ourselves. Because we have so much access to advanced technology, we can now look up what we want and only read what we want to read. When our only news source was a newspaper we were forced to read every headline, even if we didn’t agree with what it was saying, until we found an article we wanted to read. This opened our eyes to all sides, not just our own. We, as humans, are really great at blocking out things we don’t like, and today’s technology makes it exceptionally easy to do so. This goes hand in hand with confirmation bias. We look for things to confirm what we want to be true. Dan Rather said in one of his lectures that you shouldn’t ask yourself, “Does it fit my political beliefs?” because, “the truth is not in your criteria.” There are always two sides to a story. Before we decide to believe anything we should hear out both sides. As Dr. P said, “Question the things that make you feel good,” because that is a sign that maybe you believe it because you want it to be true. If an article looks at both sides, it automatically becomes more credible. The same applies for ourselves and what we think. “What the public needs to know is what somebody, somewhere - especially somebody in power - doesn’t want them to know. That’s news.” - Dan Rather