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The Importance of Treating News as a Utility

Posted on January 21st, 2023 by Gerhard

In today’s rapidly evolving and interconnected society, the omnipresence of news has become undeniable. It serves as an indispensable conduit for accessing information, enhancing our comprehension of the world, staying abreast of current affairs, and facilitating informed decision-making that reverberates through our lives and communities. Unfortunately, an increasingly prevalent inclination has emerged, whereby news is regarded as trivial entertainment rather than a valuable instrument. This transformation is disconcerting as it jeopardizes the fundamental function that news fulfills within our society.

News goes beyond being a mere information source; it embodies a public good, playing a vital role in our democratic framework. It equips citizens with the knowledge required to make informed choices about their lives and communities, holds leaders accountable, and facilitates active participation in the democratic process. The trivialization of news compromises this indispensable function, potentially eroding public trust in the news media and the democratic institutions that rely on it.

An entertainment-centric approach to news often places precedence on sensationalism and captivating headlines over accuracy and impartiality. This propensity can result in the dissemination of false or misleading information, impairing the public’s ability to make enlightened decisions. Consequently, distinguishing between those motivated by profit or political agendas and credible sources of information becomes increasingly arduous when news is treated as entertainment.

Furthermore, this approach to news can engender a narrowing of public discourse. Media outlets often prioritize sensational stories that generate the highest viewership and clicks, disregarding the in-depth exploration of significant albeit intricate issues. Consequently, perspectives become homogenized, and the world is perceived through a distorted lens.

In addition to the deleterious effects on public trust and information quality, treating news as entertainment carries severe economic ramifications. A decline in public trust, coupled with diminishing revenue from traditional advertising models, has led to reduced investments in journalism. This, in turn, has precipitated downsizing in newsrooms and diminished reporting staff. The consequence is a decline in both the caliber and quantity of news coverage, resulting in an augmented reliance on alternative information sources, such as social media.

Preserving the critical role of news within our society necessitates revering it as a utility rather than entertainment. This entails recognizing the invaluable contributions of journalists, investing in high-quality journalism, and supporting news organizations that prioritize accuracy, impartiality, and the public good over sensationalism and profit.

Posted in Thoughts