One of the reasons for starting this blog is that I became fed up with journalism. Many newspaper articles are opinions that are presented as facts. Journalism once stood for ‘objective truths’, a term coined by the Austrian-British philosopher Karl Popper (1902-1994) to separate facts from opinions (my blogs). Today’s journalism is about ‘subjective truths’ or cherry picking amongst (preferred) facts.
This topic came to me after noticing a clickbait article on Facebook from The Wall Street Journal and written by Karl Rove, a former senior White House advisor. His opinion article argues about the same: “Journalists used to aspire to objectivity. Now they barely even bother to pretend.”
Mr Rove’s opinion and his examples (ie, CNN, Washington Post) suggest that this phenomenon (only) happens at the liberal-left and/but conveniently ignores mentioning examples at the conservative-right (eg, FOX, Washington Examiner, Washington Times). Hence, he is cherry picking facts while writing about this. Sad.
As always, the Why is (much) more interesting.
For about two decades, newspapers struggled with their business model following the rise of social media (eg, Facebook in 2004). I recall social media articles about the imminent death of newspapers. Nowadays, the tide has turned: (national) newspapers are thriving and social media are under attack for their bias.
That same social media bias is (probably) one of the reasons why newspapers survived: national newspapers took sides in ongoing identity-based culture wars, which was far more difficult for local newspapers. Social media pretend to be unbiased but their hidden bias is causing widespread resentment. I’m just realising that the aforementioned may even explain the popularity of blogging.
What happens when the Truth is no longer relevant?
Mid October 2020, I coined a new term: Click-Bait-Fight-Regulate and wrote several blogs about it. Before I coined that term, I already wrote about that future regulation. My 2018 blog expects a paradigm shift in the belief system the Truth (3). My expectation is not that farfetched because China has already implemented a system of government-mandated ‘truths’ (eg, Covid-19, Taiwan, 1989 Tiananmen Square, Uyghurs).
The rise in subjective truths will trigger the Click-Bait-Fight-Regulate cycle. Perhaps, this will present us with a choice: either objective truths will return, or government-mandated truths will take over. I’m afraid, however, that there will be no choice left to us. China is showing us our own future.
Note: all markings (bold, italic, underlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.