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History of News

Posted by: | October 7, 2012 | No Comment |

Author of the book “A History of News,” Mitchell Stephens gave a short synopsis of the history of news for the Future of Journalism Project’s Youtube Page. The themes that we continue to discuss in our class are nicely summed up in this five minute video.

What Stephens remarks on is the human race’s desire to get information. He also notes that “news was always in the hands of amateurs  news was, through most if it’s history-through most if it’s human history, was not a spectator sport. it was a sport that we all participated in. we all gathered news, we all told news. at a marketplace, at a campfire, when we met each other in our paths….it’s built into us. it’s a survival factor; this search for awareness to know what’s going on.”

Whether one watches the news, reads the paper, or people talk with one another we all have a desire to learn and know more information. The shear velocity and access to news now is so overwhelming that one sometimes becomes lost in all of the abundance of news. The access and abundance of news is both a benefit and a negative.

While we have access to lots of information, in some cases for free with an internet connection,  it becomes increasingly more difficult to tell what is fact and what is fiction. Who can the people trust to deliver them not just news, but accurate news.

The prime example is that conservatives tend to watch FOX News which reports on issues and brings on guests that reaffirm the conservative values and thoughts. The same can be said for MSNBC which focuses on liberal issues. It has become easier and easier for individuals to reaffirm their own beliefs and ideologies without doing much searching of their own.

We have become a society with access to news, along with the abundance news.  However, are we also an educated public that thinks for ourselves and questions what we see as fact.  This is a question that I do not have answers for. But I am interested to see what others think about the growing amount of news and access to news that allows individuals to become tunnel-visioned into finding news that only reaffirms their own beliefs.

under: Comm 455, newspapers, social media
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