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Did the Media sway voters?

by on December 12, 2016

In a recent panel, hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison center for Journalism Ethics, a panel of three discussed the role of the media in the recent election. The Panel was composed of Molly Ball, Craig Gilbert, and Michael Wagner. Gilbert started by introducing a question he hears often, “how can the media let this happen?”

Today, in the era of Fake News and Post-truth, many believe that fake news articles are  the reason why Donald Trump won the election. Some even believe that today society is destined for a moral panic, after the influence of Fake News in America.

Gilbert answers this question, addressing the great concern of bias in the media by saying, it is not the job of a journalist to guarantee an outcome and that the blame cannot be solely on the Media. He credits the electorate and the candidates.

Of course, there are many factors of that contribute to this issue.

Wagner says that often people are “biased animals,” and once a conclusion is made, readers tend to stick with articles that reinforce their beliefs. This also leads them to distrust any opposing arguments. He went on to explain that today, people have gone on to trust the news outlet more than the content.

I have to agree with Wagner on this… people always want to believe that they are right and reading articles that are biased in a certain direction gives the reader a sense of credibility of their beliefs. That being said, a question arises…

Are the readers just as much to blame as the news outlets?


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