18 June 2023

What is news?


What is news?


Topic and Short essay by Lawrence


The news I was thinking of is what the media publish every day. This is standard practice throughout the world, but this is as far as we can go about what is common about what is news. Everyone pretends to be publishing news.


A number of media outlets try to including relevant and useful information as part of their news service. And many news organisations publish codes of ethics on how journalists gather and publish news stories.


In practice, many so called media companies have an agenda on the news they publish. Some are just propaganda mouthpieces of a dictatorship, while others promote commercial and political interest with an obvious bias content. This does not mean that we do not have real honest information if we wanted that kind of news: except that this requires motivation and skills at searching the internet. But the information is most certainly available somewhere out there.


This is a general topic with many aspects of special interests. A good starting point would be to discuss the necessary and sufficient content of a code of ethics for journalists and news media. Another issue worth looking at is: how much information to include as news? This is a different matter from biased news or misleading news.


As far as philosophy is concerned, I wouldn’t think there is much difference between “news” and any other set of information we come across life. How we deal with new information, what criteria do we employ to verify its truth and, and of course, what is useful information or irrelevant information.


Finally, a deeper philosophical issue is the matter of distinguishing facts from the truth. I would argue that facts come first when discussing the importance between facts and truth. We are entitled to our opinions and the truth how we see it, but we are not entitled to our (made up) facts.



Best and take care




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