The News: Another Version of the “Truth”

The Israeli-Gaza conflict is an intensely  sensitive subject not only in the international political sphere, but for ordinary people around the globe. High profile individuals have similarly waded into the debate whilst others have tried to shy away from it.

Just over a week ago, comedian Russell Brand uploaded a video in which he dissected Fox news’ Sean Hannity’s coverage of the conflict. That video has over 2 million views and counting.

It is clear that Brand’s analysis, which ever way you look at it, forces us to consider how we consume the news. The news is something that for many of us we consider the truth about what is happening in the world. This belief is somewhat naïve for the very reason that the truth is an absolute; something is either the truth or not the truth, there is no middle ground, so why then are there so many versions of the news, be it transmitted by television, radio or print? What one establishment will report, the other will alter and report differently.

That doesn’t mean to say that news is devoid of any tangible integrity. Reporters and journalists are bound to deliver accurate, unfalsified information but it is inevitable, given that the majority of news corporations are owned by private investors with their own interests at hand, that the news is filtered into another version of the truth. Similarly, the cultural influence of a region, ruling government and domestic policy all have a hand in how the news is presented to the wider public.

Analyses like Brand’s serve to remind us that we are constantly influenced by our surroundings. That the truth is frustratingly unattainable, an ideal that not even the news can grant us.

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