The really important question is this: Are we any wiser? The explosion of media access has provided some real benefits for viewers. Competition has led to improvements in both style and substance, and the expanding number of news organizations has added new checks and balances to the system. Still, much of the additional coverage is more concerned with “infotainment” than information or analysis. Furthermore, many citizens feel as if they are drowning in an ocean of competing reports and programs.
Mohler offers some helpful insights on news consumption—a skill that is becoming more and more necessary to hone. A quick look at any cable news outlet reveals a talking head with a graphic over his/her shoulder, a “ticker” scrolling at the bottom just in case you like to read your news, and a “coming up next” blurb on the side, just so you don’t miss it.
And that’s just cable TV! Now there are blogs with countless links to click, stories to read, and photos to see. If we’re not careful, we’ll spend all our time consuming the news and emerge none the wiser. A proper filter is crucial to using the knowledge we gain from the media wisely.