Choosing a Reputable News Source
“Valuing media sources is one of the most controversial issues here. People have their own preferred news sources and certainly do not like to be told of their chosen news source’s reliability. In fact-checking, however, it is helpful to draw a clear distinction between two tasks: assessing newsworthiness and news judgment.” (eds., The Associated Press, News Source Network, accessed 7/5/12) This sounds like an easy task, but judging the newsworthiness of a media source can be challenging.
In earlier decades, the media consisted primarily of newspapers. Initially there was little pressure for newspapers to cover stories they didn’t want to cover, given their strong commercial orientation. The concept of a news source arose with the advent of radio and television. Initially, the idea of a news source was not considered controversial, given the dominant mediums that existed at the time, and the wide readership enjoyed by newspapers. However, as readership and viewership of television and radio increased, newspapers felt challenged.
With increasing sophistication in technology, newspapers and other media began to exhibit some digital aspects-articles now read on laptops and mobile devices, and news media is available on DVDs. A new challenge was created when print became a part of the modern business environment, and the press had to evolve to remain relevant, while maintaining the high standards of credibility that had been the hallmark of a traditional news media organization. New challenges included agenda-setting, which became important to the functioning of modern businesses, and product marketing, which dictated changes in the way that products were advertised. It was these changes, and the focus on brand building and identifying corporate messages. That made agenda-setting and media buying more complicated, and made. Newspapers and other media more highly specialized.
One problem that has been noted with news sources has been their tendency to become too subjective in their reporting. When a story is too left in favor of one viewpoint, rather than another, it can be biased. For example, many stories about political activism tend to present an Anti-corporate view, but fail to give any supporting evidence. Similarly, stories that seek to explain the behavior of one single product. Often present a biased view, or a company who wants to protect its profits from competition. While other companies might be striving to build a better product.
News organizations have not always had good reputations. Reputations can take a variety of shapes, ranging from being completely apathetic to being passionately devoted to whatever issue a particular news source finds interesting. Reputations can also be shaped by sustained coverage in certain industries, or by a news source’s ability to adhere to a rigorous set of guidelines regarding what constitutes a fair and balanced report. Reputations can also be built over time, as a public’s trust in a news source grows. This is especially true of specialized or niche news sites, where there may be few competitors for readers or viewers, making the ability to build a profile and earn readers’ trust a greater priority than earning revenue.
In order to ensure that they provide a high-quality service and have a solid track record of providing objective information, news outlets should aim to maintain a strong level of objectivity. This is a particularly important quality for news sources considering. That many consumers rely on news outlets to make educated purchasing decisions. While some news sources strive for a subjective approach. Such as by allowing a guest to tell it how great their new car is, others are happy. To tell potential clients exactly what they think of the vehicle. A news source that can agree with a guest and express opinion. Without editorial input may be more likely to build a positive reputation and earn readers’ trust.
The best way to get real unbiased news sources to report stories is to avoid. Those who try to sell you advertising in the form of sponsored reviews. News outlets that want to succeed in this endeavor need to avoid promoting products in the content. They produce, or at least inform their audience that the story is based in fact and not opinion. In the age of social media, sponsored reviews are the last thing that any news source would want to do. Instead, news stories should be unbiased and convey a message of information.
A credible news source needs to consider whether a product or service warrants a branded review. If it is warranted, news outlets should only provide a review that is unbiased. Otherwise, readers will be confused as to whether the review is subjective or not. News sources that commit to providing unbiased opinions will earn readers’ trust and respect. While those who stray from this path will quickly lose reader trust and could ultimately lead to loss of revenue.