by Izaak Garcia
When bias is present in our media sources, we must question what we are hearing.
From small newspaper shops lining the side of the street, to mainstream news outlets in our homes and pockets, the growth and spread of information is pivotal in connecting people. But, in today’s world, information may not always provide what we seek. Many news outlets, with various political and social agendas, are reporting on events happening around the world through their own lenses. The general public is almost guaranteed to come across stories that do not provide the entire picture, and some that are entirely false. So how can we, as people who would like to be “in-the-know” about the events of the world, ensure that we are, in fact, being well informed? While these news outlets claim to present a fair and balanced narrative, we, as truth-seekers, have an obligation to be skeptical enough to question the information given to us by the media, and diligent enough to ask ourselves: Is this what we want to hear, or what we need to hear?
Information is something that affects the lives of every single person on this planet, from choosing items for a grocery list to examining statistics on the current COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, information doesn’t travel alone. It can bring bias, underlying political views, and possibly, hidden agendas. Even the news outlets that are deemed reliable when it comes to the integrity of their stories can be subject to information bias. With this, another problem presents itself: where is the line between unconscious bias and misinformation? How does the presentation of facts become so twisted that it instills anger and resentment towards a differing belief or ideal? We know harsh truth can often make people upset, but in today’s world, there are cases where the truth isn’t being told at all, which can mean two things. One, the media is unintentionally omitting elements of the story, which may mean that they are not qualified to do an adequate job reporting the news. Or two, they are knowingly misrepresenting the facts. Recognizing these faults isn’t an attack on anything or anyone. It is the responsible act of spotlighting the problems that have plagued and divided us, causing constant conflict among ourselves. This conflict occupies our attention, blinding us to the endeavors of entities that may have ulterior motives or underlying agendas.
We all live in this chaotic world, with its fair share of ups and downs. More often than not, we find ourselves getting lost in the chaos and misinformation. This leads us to turn on each other in anger or spite. If we stop for just a moment and try to learn and understand together, wonderful things could happen. We should read from as many sources as we can, take in multiple sides of a story, and learn all the details possible from the most recent world events. If we all try, as one, we might be surprised with how great the benefits can be.
About Izaak Garcia
Izaak Garcia is currently a freshman at the University of Southern California, majoring in Cinema and Media Studies with a minor in Applied Cybersecurity. He has played soccer with FC Peoria, Dunlap, and Richwoods for over a decade combined. Garcia has also played tennis for 4 years, securing a spot on both junior varsity and varsity teams. Along with this, he has competed with the Richwoods Worldwide Youth Science and Engineering team for Biology and English for 2 years and earned multiple awards for the school. Garcia is also heavily involved with the arts. As a multi-instrumentalist, he has played the saxophone for 8 years and piano for 2 years. During his junior year of high school, he was involved in theater at Richwoods as stage crew and manager. He helped with two productions and was being trained to be stage manager for senior year before the COVID-19 pandemic impacted school. Outside of school activities, Garcia is involved in Jack and Jill of America (an organization for young African American men and women to serve the community). He served as his chapter’s treasurer during his freshman year of high school. Along with Jack and Jill of America, he enjoys coding, learning new languages, and playing video games.
About Faith Marie
Faith Marie is a homeschooled senior in high school who dreams of being an artist entrepreneur one day. She fell in love with creating at a young age and now experiments with all kinds of mediums. You can find her on Instagram at @faithmariedraws.