Mainstream media sheep: What to consider while choosing media sources

Austin Burmester, Staff Writer

Some people call them sheep. Others call them drones. I just call them idiots. To be clear, I am talking about the virus going around that turns humans into mainstream media zombies who get their news from one biased source.

These mindless people are easy to spot, especially on social media. A left-wing sheep can be seen grazing throughout your Facebook feed with multiple posts from Occupy Democrats or the Huffington Post. A conservative drone can be seen continually posting stories from Fox News, because we all know how “un-biased” Fox is.

To these idiots, facts don’t matter and neither does context. They will talk or post about a 15-second video clip with a misleading headline and immediately assume they are experts on the subject.

I have watched all 14 Republican and Democratic debates since Aug. 6, 2015. I was a political science major at Sonoma State for three-and-a-half years before changing my major. When it comes to politics, I consider myself literate. I also read the news every day, but unlike mainstream media sheep, I get my news from more than one source.

It sickens me that most millennials can tell you the name of Kim Kardashian’s daughter but can’t name their state senators. They care more about scandals involving famous people than if certain legislation is passed or not passed.

To be fair, I do not put all the blame on the individual; some of the blame also lies in the hands of the mainstream media.

Today’s media and U.S. society prioritizes information based on what gets higher ratings and is more “trendy,” such as Kardashian’s daughter. No longer do they care about what is important. Over the years this thinking has trickled down and affected the minds of the American populace.

To top it off, news sites also have to ensure the happiness of special interest donors that fund them by covering stories less important to the American public but more beneficial to the special interest groups.

The best way to combat the virus is to become an informed citizen. Read the news from a variety of sources as often as you can. Read the same story on multiple sites, get all the facts you can and come to your own conclusions. Each news site is going to twist the story to convince you to think what they want you to think, but don’t fall for it. Think for yourself.