Fandango’s Provocative Question this week asks:
Where do you get most of your news from? Do you consider your primary news source(s) to be objective purveyors of truths and facts?
In a word – no. I expect every single news item from every single source imaginable to be subjective to a certain degree, because all news is written by a human being somewhere on the planet and all human beings necessarily have a certain angle/ perspective/ opinion/ agenda that means they can never be truly objective, however hard they try.
Of course many so-called ‘news’ sources don’t even try to be objective, they just force their own fabricated falsehoods on an unquestioning public, for money or ratings or political power or whatever. And on the other side of the coin many viewers and readers choose only to view versions of a story that align with their favoured subjective stance and follow these often outlandish ‘truths’ with blind fervour, aggressively denying all other possibilities.
The trouble is, there is no one ‘truth’ that reigns supreme. Truth itself is subjective, as it necessarily follows the particular norms of culture and society as it stands at that given moment, it does not in any way speak for all people in all places at all times. So as long as you bear that in mind, you’ve got a chance of finding a balance that bears witness as evenly as is humanly possible in any given circumstance.
The trick is to try to peruse as many different news sources as you can, within reason, triangulate opinion and use your own common sense (not blind faith) to work out what the most accurate real-time global position might be on any given topic. Look outside of your own little world – politically, culturally, socially, morally. What do other countries think? Other nations tend to make up their own minds about where the ‘truth’ lies, and judge accordingly.
Remember one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter, depending on which side of the argument you fall on at any given time. Right and wrong, good and bad are inherently subjective positions, therefore any news reports on topics that require judgement will also necessarily be subjective. Keep in mind that history is always written by the victor, take all news stories with a hefty pinch of salt and you’ll be fine…