Is News Beneficial to Our Society?

I have considered lately whether or not the access to multiple worldwide news sources benefits or harms our society.  On one side, news can be informative, while it can also be seen to take the country to war.  Is it more important for people to be educated in local and global affairs?  Or is it of greater importance that society runs smoothly, even if people are kept in the dark.  Even though the media can be extremely harsh and even untruthful at times, I still believe that people have the right to know about the current state of the world, no matter how brutal the news is.

However, the news of the world today is nowhere near perfect.  I do not personally have a problem with the fact that most news is bad news.  However, the media has the goal of getting an emotional response to what is reported.  For the readers/listeners/viewers that do not have a positive emotional outlook, the news may cause them to lose faith in society.  Additionally, if news causes an immediate emotional response, this could trigger System I to have an initial reaction that is less than ideal.  Since we are always exposed to news, it seems that we listen to it using our first System, and rarely reason.  However, if you only deal with your System I when listening to news, and do not take the time to put some serious reasoning into it, you will have ideals that are not well thought-out, and harmful to society.  I frequently hear people talk about what is occurring in the news, and they often simply spit back what they found on a news source instead of actually analyzing the news for accuracy and how it actually aligns with what they think.  Whenever an opinion is given in the news, it must be taken with a grain of salt.  Many people do not do this, which is a detriment to our society.

Obviously, it is unfeasible to cut off news for everyone simply because they do not use reason when finding out news.  Additionally, some news sources can be seen to offer great, unbiased analysis.  If the news source properly does this, there is no need to worry about news hindering our society.  However, the media frequently tries to throw in opinions, however agreeable or disagreeable they may be, simply to attract attention.  This most definitely has a poor impact on society.

I think that it will be interesting to pursue how I see people (my friends, family, teachers, etc.) react to news, and whether or not they use reason when thinking about the news.  I will do my best to relay these reactions to my blog.

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