Mark Twain’s observation about the mainstream media of his time said it best,
Those who do not read the news are uninformed. Those who do are misinformed.
Little has changed since his time except perhaps the size and reach of the media. Indeed, if the only source one has for news are the main commercial networks, you are getting information that is geared towards something other than keeping you informed.
Many people believe that the news media is in the business of delivering information to consumers. This is NOT the case. The business of media is based on delivering consumers to advertisers. The news is a business that depends on advertising income for its existence. They use demographic research to know who their audience is and offer that audience to potential clients for advertising.
For example, CNN focuses on a liberal demographic and offers to get ads in front of liberal voters. Fox News is focused on conservative voters. This is why those networks are anti or pro-Trump respectively. It has nothing whatsoever to do with “informing the public” but rather, feeding the public what their research says they want so they will watch. Advertisers are offered an audience that they believe are more likely to buy their product or service.
Do you think life is gettering better or worse? My guess is you think it is worse. Much worse! But it’s actually the opposite. Here is some solid information from Human Progress. The site has tons of factual information about the state of humanity.
If you want to know the data, look at their site. If you want to remain in the dark, watch the nightly news.
From Human Progress: https://www.humanprogress.org
Is life getting better or worse? Watching the news, it’s easy to become pessimistic. But don’t forget that reporting is often selective. Bad news leads to higher ratings, while good news is seldom covered. So, what is the real state of humanity? Consider the changes that have occurred in the world over the last half-century.
- In 1966, average life expectancy was only 56 years. In 2016, it was 72. That’s an increase of 29 percent.
- Out of every 1,000 infants born, 113 died before their first birthday. In 2016, only 32 died. That’s a reduction of 72 percent.
- Average income per person rose from $3,698 to over $17,469, or by 372 percent – and that’s adjusted for inflation.
- The food supply rose from about 2,300 calories per person per day to over 2,800 calories, an increase of 22 percent, thus reducing hunger.
- The length of schooling that a person could typically expect to receive was 4.15 years. In 2016, it was 8.71 years – a 110 percent increase.
- On a scale from 0, which denotes autocracy, to 10, which denotes democracy, political freedom rose from 4.55 in 1966 to 7.05 in 2016. That’s an improvement of 55 percent.