Rushing News

Since the often times inaccurate online media is where most of our news comes from, we need to be cautious consumers of the media


cartoon by Sristi Palimar

As a student journalist, I have been taught the importance of accuracy and integrity in producing news. Professional journalists, too, have the responsibility to make sure their news coverage is factual. Online media often prioritizes getting the news out fast rather than getting it correct. Even though the online news is faster than the traditional newspapers, its lack of concern for accuracy makes news more difficult for readers to trust, forcing us to be skeptical of the news they produce.

Consumers of news like you and me find it very easy to read the recent news on our phones through notifications. As society has become more reliant on quick online news, the news-writing process has become increasingly rushed, sacrificing quality for speed.

“The digital space is largely controlled by Google and Facebook,” Orange County Register Executive Editor Frank Pine said. “It is more difficult for readers to determine what is trustworthy and what is not.”

The good thing about traditional print news, which was the primary form of journalism before the internet, is that there are rules and expectations for how to produce news, resulting in fewer errors. Without the pressure for instant updates via social media and websites, journalists who produce the news are better held accountable for fairness and accuracy.

“It is always better to be right and late than to be first and wrong,” Pine said. “Getting it right is much more important than getting it first.”

An article came out in January that said a few high school boys were harassing a Native
American named Nathan Phillips and chanting “build the wall” at a pro-life march. It was later revealed that the high school boys were just standing silently in front of Phillips. The media’s original articles were unacceptable because these teenage boys were negatively put in the spotlight, subjecting them to anger and death threats. When news is falsely published online for the sake of speedy reporting, it blinds society to the truth, and prevents people from knowing what’s right and what’s wrong.

Since there is more inaccurate news with the online media, we need to become extra cautious when reading the news. If we are not cautious consumers of media, we can become ill-informed. This is why we should analyze the news we read to better discern reliable and unreliable news. Being wary of unreliable news can make a huge difference in how well-informed we really are.