Don’t ask why, but recently I’ve been thinking a lot about the power of the media to shape our views and opinions, particularly on current affairs. I suppose that naturally, people on the left or right of the political spectrum gravitate towards those newspapers, TV news programmes and other media that reflect their views.
Is this true? Perhaps it is. We dutifully trawl through newspaper stories before turning to the comment pages, in the expectation that the editorial position on a given topic will match our own, pre-conceived position. This ‘edited highlights’ approach to news consumption also extends to decisions around which stories are covered in the first place.
Unfortunately, breaking these habits probably means consuming news from a wider variety of sources, from which we can make our selections. In my view, that’s no bad thing. From there, perhaps our views would become far less certain, less predictable and more interesting.