Writer vs Reader

Picture from Pixabay

Just like I did with my last post, I came across this when researching for my ethics unit. It’s something that I think is probably worth talking about. I was reading an article about a conflict, the way the journalist used language to create an us and them feeling in the conflict was what I was reacting to.

This conflict was between two nations and the nation where the article was published was throughout being referred to as we and us. This is something that I remember from my secondary schooling when we were talking about propaganda in World War two and the way newspapers talked about the vietnam war.

I thought that journalists had moved passed this blatant us and them feeling in their writing. I thought that the communications industry had moved passed this because we were aware and educated now. I thought that The World Wars, The Cold War and The Vietnam War had taught us something.

But where does the responsibility for this lay? Is it journalists that are responsible for what they write and how they write it? Or is the reader responsible for how they interpret the information conveyed?

I didn’t really reflect on this in the beginning, but then I saw a video of veterans talking about the first time they killed someone in the battlefield and one of them talked about how the us and them feeling led to him not feeling guilty.

If this feeling is created through news, how much responsibility should be placed on journalists to convey an unbiased view of a conflict, would that even be possible? Or is it up to the reader?

What I do think is positive in today’s society is that most people have access to many sources of news. However, I think that has led to us as consumers of news to go looking for the things that confirm our worldviews. Do you think it is possible for readers to get unbiased news among the multitude of sources that we have access to?

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