When We Value Brand Loyalty Over News Content, Our Worlds Become Smaller

How to be media savvy? Sample ideas you disagree with, and be duly skeptical of celebrity journalists.

When PR strategist Matthew Hiltzik visited our video studio, he framed the world as a marketplace of ideas, and the US as a fortunate country whose citizens have a multitude of voices and perspectives—both traditional and revolutionary—to learn from. So are we exercising that luxury, or are we staying loyal to one or two key news sources that comfortably align with our worldview, even our self-identity. What is the cost of that? We may be limiting our own education and cementing arguments instead of working toward resolutions. Hiltzik suggests that there are opportunities and benefits to listening to a wide variety of news sources, even ones that present ideas you may not be accustomed to, and that doing so could help bridge the divides in modern America: "The more understanding you have of your neighbor the more you have the ability to find common interests," he says. If the world is a marketplace of ideas, buy into them carefully, Hiltzik says, but sample them broadly and skeptically, especially in an era of celebrity journalism and see-sawing journalistic standards.

Welcome to Your Echo Chamber. Population: Waning

Despite our romanticized vision of social media as a global town square overflowing with diversity, the reality is that each user’s experience is hyper-filtered.

 

 

Echo... echo... echo. (Photo by Mike Simons/Getty Images)

Are you living a segregated digital life? If you're on major social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, the answer is probably yes.

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Mark Zuckerberg Is the World's Most Powerful Editor-in-Chief

Facebook can flip your digital identity on and off at the switch; that is way too much power for any corporation to have, says Oliver Luckett — and we handed it to them.

It’s likely that most of us signed up to Facebook before we truly knew how powerful it was or would become. Many of us were too young, or inexperienced in the digital world, to realize that, at the end of the day, we were and are the product Facebook is really selling. We are sorted, packaged and prompted to act (by giving likes, clicking ads, and sharing emotional states and information) so that a supremely valuable commodity – our attention – can be more profitably sold to advertisers. It’s how we end up in echo chambers of like-minded people, and it’s this illusion of agreeability that started to tear in the wake of the election result.

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