Lens Of The People: Trustworthy News

Good Afternoon, readers! Lens of The People is a column dedicated to the capture of the real-life scenarios and events in the local Houston area whilst also giving the thoughts and opinions of the Houston community itself its own voice to speak through.

Celebrating 192 years of Black Press, this week’s column is aimed towards news. In particular, it is aimed towards trustworthy news. This idea of “fake news”, coined by Donald Trump, has been the bane of every journalist’s existence, as it sews uneasiness into the thoughts of everyone who watches or reads, and no one can ever be 100% sure that everything they read is the truth, especially now where certain biases towards topics are far more noticeable than they’ve ever been from news source to news source. That being said, my question this week is: “How and where do you get the news that you deem to be trustworthy?” Are you, perhaps, loyal to a specific source or outlet that is constantly supporting their reports with data? Or are you, maybe, leaning towards a different one because your demographic, whatever that may be, is portrayed accurately? Here’s what the people have to say:

“I don’t think there is such a thing as a trustworthy news source. Each newspaper has its own agenda that frames a ‘story’ under certain ideological pressures. I don’t trust that. But I compare sources such as The Atlantic, RT News, Aljazeera, Vice, and New York Times, to name a few when I need to take in the news somehow.”-Tyrelle John Haney

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“Honestly, I don’t watch the news because, EVERYBODY HAS THEIR OPINIONS. However, I do tend to get my African American news by doing my own research online. Google can have a lot of good resources, but talk shows and huge media outlets are things I kind of stay away from, especially when they talk about Black celebrities, or Black people that are in power, because I feel like they’re always tearing us down in some type of way. In that sense, I just don’t think we have a lot of good representation.”-Zach Austin

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“I get my news from Twitter, Google, and other various internet and social media sites, as well as, of course, television. I don’t trust any news sources nowadays, so I compare sources to see what’s really going on.”-Mateo McKinney

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“I usually receive my news from Twitter accounts from credible sources like ABC News, CNN, and local news outlets. Sometimes I use the News app on my iPhone to read publications across the country.”-Taylor York

Photographer’s Thoughts

While it is true that there are just as many reputable and objectively honest news sources as there are incredibly biased ones, I feel that the topic of what you choose to believe ultimately comes down to you as the consumer. We have access to so many different kinds of news, not only through major news platforms such as CNN, but also through social media, which over time only proves itself to be a more and more indispensable tool for information gathering. With all of this so readily available, I believe that relying on one single news source is frankly irresponsible. I believe that the only way to get news that you trust is to compare and contrast, even if that means tuning into something that you might not trust fully, for even that might end up giving you a perspective you had no idea about. This is exactly what I do: I have several news apps downloaded on my phone such as CNN and the Washington Post, and I compare the varying information with the information I might find from locals on social media platforms such as Twitter. I also believe it is important to get news about the African American perspective from African American news outlets like the Forward Times and others. This allows me to have many different perspectives and weigh whatever situation that is being reported as fairly as possible within my own mind.

This was Lens of The People, a column dedicated to giving the Houston community a voice and a platform. Stay on the lookout for more, all made possible by The Forward Times!