Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Why the Media is Desperate to Reclaim its “Gatekeeper” Status for News | The Daily Bell

Posted by M. C. on July 16, 2018

The further away the news gets from you, the harder it is to mix the news with other intelligence. At that point, it is easier to manipulate the truth

By Joe Jarvis

No one knows what to believe anymore in the age of the internet. Don’t you miss the good old days when you could believe that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction when the media reported it?

Everything is fake news, except perhaps the scores of last week’s high school basketball game. And maybe the local stuff is what we should be focusing on because that at least we can confirm to some extent…

Yet even in the age of information, local papers are disappearing. As a direct result, the efficiency of local governments is suffering. A study found that a lack of local newspapers correlates with worse local government.

But has an influx of national news made national government more efficient?

No. It has only thrown more power behind collectivist trends. It has added ranks to the mobs of special interests that continue to expand federal expenditures and debt. National news is basically used as advertising to get the masses to line up behind a particular cause. It is activist journalism, directing the mob rule.

Local news differs because it is mixed with first-hand experience, as well as second-hand reports from witnesses–neighbors and friends. Gossip is one way of regulating this local flow of information. It provides details about who can be believed, and who might embellish.

Locally, there is an organic structure of information flow. This alone doesn’t make it accurate, but it gets closer by triangulating from where you get your information.

And the further you get from the ability to triangulate from different sources, the faker news gets. I don’t mean different sources, as in, different news outlets. I mean first-hand knowledge mixed with historical context, access to first-hand accounts, information about the reliability of witnesses and experts, and so on.

The further away the news gets from you, the harder it is to mix the news with other intelligence. At that point, it is easier to manipulate the truth…

As someone who believes in a grassroots approach to solving problems, starting with individuals, I am naturally averse to the idea of controllers from on high making decisions for me.

And that is why I think it is beneficial to have more distrust in news the further it gets from you, and rather use what you can confirm to live personally as you see fit.

Probably the best example of this is people signing up for the military directly after 9/11 to go kick some al-Qaida ass. They trusted the national news to deliver accurate facts about what happened, and how to stop it from happening again. And they threw themselves into the fight without having an accurate picture of why, or how the war they were signing up for would help.

In the end, they may have ended up supporting a worse regime than the one they were fighting.

Never knowing what you can believe is not ideal. But it beats a false sense of security that the news you get is real. It isn’t. And if people are finally waking up to that, perhaps they will stop lining up to fight other people’s wars.


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