It has taken me a while to wrap my head around the fact that ‘media’ does not mean journalism. Media is simply a means of broadcasting or communicating a message – not necessarily the truth.
Twenty years ago, if one were to reference the media, we would assume that it was the dissemination of news. Someone with a media badge would be sent to cover the event as it was happening and then share that information with their audience. Now we have right wing media outlets and left-wing media outlets, both with an agenda to push to viewers/listeners/readers. Heck, blogging and podcasting can be referred to as media but that doesn’t make what they write or say truthful or based on fact.
Media does not necessarily equate to journalism. At this moment you are reading an opinion piece, not something written by a journalist. I didn’t go to school and learn about ethics or sources – I simply share my opinion once a week. Should you believe what I say? I would hope that my column sparks conversation, but I know that not everyone agrees with everything I write and again I assert that I am not a journalist.
As an opinion columnist, I could opine on so many crazy things that are happening in the world and I could write it from the perspective of someone extremely conservative leaning or someone extremely liberal leaning. Again, I am not a journalist bound by rules of convention.
When we get fooled into thinking that opinion columnists are bipartisan in thinking and only speak THE truth, we get sucked into a world where we believe everything we read.
Read an opinion column for enjoyment, read it for a thoughtful change in perspective, but take it with a grain of salt. If a column spurs you to do some further investigating of a subject – that’s great.
If a column makes you laugh because it is so ridiculous – that’s great too! Just remember, it is just an opinion and we are all allowed to have one.