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How News Media Affects Our Views about America

Bully. This is what pops into the minds of foreigners when they think of American people. They see somebody who only cares for themselves and disregards the needs of other nations.

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Could it be due to race, religion, or petty arguments? No. Foreign powers like Japan, Germany, France, and South Africa, have admitted to it. The mainstream news is the problem. We can no longer trust the “facts” that the press spoon feeds us. The American news media distorts facts, highly skews political views, and vastly affects how foreigners see our country.

How many times have you heard a rumor out in public, and went home to check to the news to figure it out? As it turns out, this may not be the best course of action. A study conducted by the Cardiff University, which studied research done by 2,000 news media sources found startling information. Out of the 2,000 sources, only 12% had actually researched the facts. Another gigantic chunk of that, 80% of the news companies had used secondhand sources to write their articles. Journalists do not check their sources thoroughly, with only 12% of the 2,000 digging deep into their “facts” to find the truth.

Though, with a study finding that journalists only have 1/3 of the time to research facts than they did in 1985, can you blame them? (Davies 2008). The mainstream news media have become very comfortable with dishonest facts and unchecked sources. They will candidly take the word of a rumor or story someone tells. Politicians are aware and have taken advantage of this. Politicians use many different techniques to sway citizens for their vote. The list is nearly endless: television, speeches, press conferences, propaganda, and the two colossal sections are news media and social networking sites.

Social networking sites like Twitter or Facebook can highly skew political votes. These websites can be used for sharing and discussing political views. People who have no idea about the candidates could take their friends opinions. Due to support from fellow social networkers, people will say anything about politics, whether true or not. One example of this is how Mitt Romney’s campaign slogan being the exact same one used by the KKK. During the 2nd political debate, there were 12. 24 million social media comments, tweets about the debate: 11. 7 million, and 572,000 public Facebook posts (Cody 2012).

Ultimately, this results in mass produced half-truths. Politics is how we communicate with our allies and enemies alike. While the Secretary of State was in South Africa at an international environmental conference in Johannesburg, he was booed by the attending people. Although it is not out of the spectrum for American officials to be booed, a lot of the people were American Allies (Martin, 2012). A few ambassadors made comments on the subject: “I think a lot of people see [America as] a greedy bully, someone who is prepared to run roughshod over other people’s interests”, said journalist Vuyo Mvoko, with SABC television in South Africa.

Germany, “The people in Germany, we accept that you are, in a way, stronger, but what we don’t accept is that you just come to conclusions and make decisions without ever putting into consideration what it might mean for other nations — like, for example, the Germans”, said Peter Kloeppel of RTL television in Germany. Also attending, France stated that “They [America] are too much interested in their own personal business” (Martin, 2012). The news media have distorted facts about what we do.

My dad, a missing-persons investigator for Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, has told me what really happens. One night, he told me that a girl’s ex-boyfriend broke into her house and tried to steal some things. The girl saw him, he threatened her, and so she shot him. Obviously, the ex-boyfriend was the bad guy. Later that same evening, looking at the news, the headline “Man gunned down in ex-girlfriend’s house. ” This presents the wrong image that the girl brutally shot the man for no reason.

In conclusion, the mammoth news companies have become accustomed and comfortable with being given false and biased information. They affect how we view all sorts of information. Using unconfirmed and untrustworthy sources, the news corporations will continue lying and skewing the truth. The news companies of America have affected our opinions with politics and distort how foreign powers view the U. S, and most of all tells the truth, without telling the truth. With all of the deception, can we really trust anything we hear or see on the television and on the radio or in newsprint?