Accuracy & the News Media

Topics: News, Mass media, Pew Research Center Pages: 5 (1500 words) Published: May 9, 2012
Accuracy & The News Media


Submitted by E. Wells

How Accurate is the News Reporting we Receive?
According to the Pew Research Center, a non-profit, non-partisan research organization, they say that “the public’s assessment of the accuracy of news stories is now at its lowest level in more than two decades of Pew Research surveys, and Americans’ views of media bias and independence now match previous lows.” Toward this, Pew Research, states that “just 29% of Americans say that news organizations generally get the facts straight, while 63% say that news stories are often inaccurate.” Also, it states that “in the initial survey in this series about the news media’s performance in 1985, 55% said news stories were accurate while 34% said they were inaccurate”. So we ask, how accurate is the news?And can people count on the information that is received?

Significantly, the research determines, “that particular percentage fell relatively lower in the late 1990’s and has remained low over the past ten years.” Yet, similarly, only about a quarter (26%) now indicate that certain news organizations are watchful that their company’s reporting is not politically biased, measuring up with the 60% who indicate specific news organizations are politically biased.

Also, The Pew Center reports that “percentages saying that news organizations are independent of powerful people and organizations (20%) or are willing to admit their mistakes (21%) now also match all-time lows”.

How Objective is the News?
For the most part, in talking to some people, most say that they don’t even like to read the news or even watch the news. Others feel that some of the news sources are pretty objective in their reporting because in most instances they are held to a higher standard. But it also depends on what it is that the person in reading. Some columnists are basically just giving their opinions and therefore cannot be right or wrong. In other cases, reporters have an obligation to stay objective for the sake of the publication or the news organization that they work for. Objectivity, on the other hand, all of the information is very important to the reader, because people who read the news on a daily basis expect a certain style of honesty, and factual information. The percentage of whether or not most news organizations report as objectively as possible can be based on where the news is ultimately coming from.

Invariably, the news sources that most people read frequently are the media that surrounds their neighborhoods, or depends on what kind of news they are looking for. Palm Beach Post, Sun-Sentinel, Fox News 29, MSNBC, The Wall Street Journal and News Channel 25 from Palm Beach County stay relatively objective in their reporting. It is highly important that news anchors, writers and reporters remain objective in order to maintain the reputation and the integrity of their company. Having these qualities in addition to staying objective can justify and indicates the longevity of the organization. On the other hand, If certain news organizations continue not be objective, it will be a noticeable inconsistency and will ultimately result in a decline of favoritism of that particular publication.Good journalism is important and has a lot to do with how complete news stories are. Typically, such stories and articles are based on the concept of an inverted pyramid. This means that the most important facts start at the top and diminishes as it moves along. In other words, you could clip off a few sections of the bottom of the inverted pyramid and still have most of the facts of the story. The completeness of the story however, lies in the how strong the information is relayed and written in the very beginning of the story line or the story itself. How Important are the Major News Sources?

Major news sources are of utmost importance to people. It is their ultimate...

References: 1. The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press
(Article) “Public Evaluations of the News Media: 1985 – 2009”; December 29, 2009
2. The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press
(Article) “Press Accuracy Rating Hits Two Decade Low”; September 13, 2009
3. Reasons for Media Bias
By Ashwini Ambekar, Thursday, November 20, 2008
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