With an election looming, and a potential backlash to the mainstream media’s reporting on the deadly police shooting of Philando Castile in Minnesota, the public seems to be increasingly willing to question the mainstream news outlets’ credibility.
In an interview with The Globe and Mail, University of Toronto Professor of Information Technology Tamu Asano says the election season has been especially fraught for the mainstream press, and the fact that people can now find information online that has not been seen in the past is a sign that this is a new era.
“In this era of the internet, people can have access to information that is not in the public sphere,” Asano said.
“There’s no longer a distinction between what is newsworthy and what is not.
That is very scary to me, because I don’t think we’re ready to accept that we have to be careful about what we say in public.”
Asano is part of a team that is developing an online platform called Digital Democracy that will allow people to submit stories to the site.
This will allow them to publish their own stories and get them to the right people for publication.
“It’s really about creating an alternative, and an alternative to what’s already out there,” she said.
She believes the platform could prove invaluable to the media in the coming election season.
“People have a lot of choices, and it’s a good time to take advantage of that,” Asana said.
“I think we’ve come a long way in terms of the way in which people are consuming content online.
There are a lot more outlets and outlets are doing a lot better in terms at keeping their content up to date and keeping people engaged.”
Asana says there’s a lot to be excited about in the media’s coverage of the election, but she believes the mainstream will need to be more careful when reporting on issues such as police shootings and police brutality.
“We’re in the midst of a new media revolution.
The way we consume information is changing.
There’s a new way of being online and a new sense of being connected to the world,” she explained.”
You have to take that information with a grain of salt.
You can’t just assume everything is good news.”
While many of the mainstream outlets have taken a less adversarial approach to the presidential election than they did in 2016, there’s still an appetite among people to be skeptical of their reporting on some issues.
“There’s a little bit of a trend that people are getting a little more skeptical of the news,” Asanas said.
She pointed to an article published in the American Prospect magazine that said “people don’t trust the mainstream” when it comes to climate change and the role of government.
The idea that the mainstream has to be so cautious about reporting on climate change because people aren’t going to believe that there is a consensus, that’s just not a healthy approach to news,” she concluded.”
Asana believes that will be an important topic for the media to explore.”
The idea that the mainstream has to be so cautious about reporting on climate change because people aren’t going to believe that there is a consensus, that’s just not a healthy approach to news,” she concluded.