Biased Communication. A Question of Perspective
Should communication convey pure and direct information? Should a point of view be reserved for opinion articles, which establish the position of that journalist on a particular topic?
Surely it should be so, but everyone knows that no news is neutral, impartial. The attachment to certain values, ideals, beliefs, the style of the journalist and the Media on which he or she works determines the inclination that the content will have when expressed. And even further: the manipulation (in the least pejorative sense of the term) of the contents allows to emphasize some and minimize others, so that the interpretation of the recipient of the news can utterly vary.
A recent news explained a new university career accumulated 10 applications per vacancy offered. The news seemed to imply that there was a lot of demand, but the number of vacancies available were never mentioned. Without this information, the meaning of the news is left to the free interpretation of the reader/listener, and it can be positive if they were offered, for example, 250 places, or negative if they were offered only 10. Information bias can “achieve” that the same news written by two different Media in an influenced way to cause in each case a certain effect or impact, can be interpreted even oppositely by their respective recipients. In fact, this is what happens every day in newspapers, TV news, radio, internet, etc.
In the end, as no one is in possession of absolute truth, and everything is increasingly relative, citizens end up forming our own opinion on all the issues and events of daily life, not knowing, for sure, how far the information we consume really reflects the facts. That is why the Media, although they are called “the fourth power“, are basically the first, because the other three powers need them to communicate and get their visibility. And despite we believe that Internet has democratized the power of communication, we continue reproducing the model of influencing and manipulating everything that is written.
Given this scenario, a person with a certain amount of inquisitiveness, culture and common sense should try to find out what is happening in his environment and in the world through Media of different political sign, origin, influence … Yes, it’s difficult because time is scarce, but it is recommendable to have a more plural idea of things and be able to have more solid opinions, avoiding shortsighted and inflexible positions. The saying is more valid than ever:
“In this treacherous world,
Nothing is true or false;
Everything is according to the color
Of the glass you use to look to“.