Have you ever seen an intriguing news headline come across your feed, and you click on it just to be greeted with an annoying popup that blocks the whole site?
This is becoming increasingly popular on major news websites. Our news is slowly being put behind a paywall. This has always been the case to some extent. I mean large news organizations have bills to pay, it’s a bit hard to do that for free.
In the 1900s, you could buy a newspaper for pennies on the dollar. It was cheap, and you could easily pass that same newspaper around with friends and colleagues. Local news was free for everyone over the air on television, although it was and still is supported by ads. With sponsored ads, information has always been readily accessible to almost everyone. We were all getting the same message as well.
But with the advent of popup and ad blockers over the last decade, many online news sources are being forced to block access to their content if you use popup blockers. Some are moving their content behind paywalls altogether. The problem is that you can search less reliable sources and find the same news stories. This can be problematic as the less reliable news sources tend to add opinions to their stories. I will be doing that on this site as well. I’m not doing it to inform you, but to simply give you my prospective.
This is the suitable medium for that. I’m not trying to shove my opinion down your throat; I want to convey a different perspective to keep the conversation going.
Opinion news is massively more popular than traditional news. It’s easier if you need help understanding what is going on to have the same person delivering the news to let you know how the issue will affect you. The problem is that person will tend to give you just enough information to twist the words how they see fit. This has caused a significant divide on political topics. Fox News and MSNBC have had tremendous success pandering to Conservatives and Liberals, respectively. So much so that each side thinks of the other side as incompetent fools that should not have a say in national matters.
I have zero credibility myself in this issue. I’m just a guy annoyed by the mainstream constantly lying by omission and only covering stories that they think will push their agenda. There are many organizations and websites out there right now attempting to combat this issue. One that I liked was Ground News; they show all the news stories and also who is reporting that news. If you don’t think your beloved news site is omitting stories to you, check them out.
The problem is… they are moving behind a paywall too. So where do we go? Well, I could shut the hell up and pay for my news. But let’s be honest; the majority will not do that.
Typically when something like this happens, the government steps in and levels the playing field. But we have a little thing called the first amendment that will prevent that from happening. Unless everyone decides to start throwing out amendments, this is a no-go.
Federal Reserve style?
The Federal Reserve was created so that no one could own it. This was to help keep currency stable as much as possible by staying independent of government control. Why couldn’t we do the same for national news? A national news organization that reported only facts on every subject imaginable but on a neutral platform controlled by a board representing all sectors of our population.
The private sector has failed
The private sector has been trying to figure out this balance for a long time and has essentially failed. So what can we do to level the playing field as a society? Too many people are getting their news from social media today, which can be just as dangerous. Social media only shows you stories that may interest you. That’s the issue. If you only read sources you agree with, you will dig in your heels more against the ‘other side.’
Even if we had nationally independent news sources, the private sector would take those sources and cherry-pick them; then, we are in the same boat. To begin with, many mainstream media companies buy their stories from larger companies like AP News or Reuters and put their twist on them. Do you have a solution? Please drop a comment below and let me know.
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