Factors that influence credibility Essay Sample

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Print and broadcast media are probably the most popular among the various sources of information, being the most easily accessible.  Newspapers, magazines, TV programs and news reporting, advertising and the Internet are available everywhere.  However, these sources of news and information can not totally be relied upon as to the veracity and accuracy of their news, press releases, write-ups and documentaries due to the many factors that can influence their writing and reporting.

For one thing, different television networks and newspapers/magazines employ many reporters and writers.  Their appreciation of facts and events, particularly the details, could vary depending on the viewpoint of each one of them.  The more persistent and resourceful reporters could possibly have inside information, thus giving them an edge over others.  However, since most sources of inside information are unwilling to expose their real identities, the truth of their allegations may be doubtful.

Moreover, write-ups and press releases can also be influenced by their source, in some cases, the public relations officer or image builder of a public figure, who provide the TV stations and newspaper reporters with the news write-up itself.  Politics could also very well influence the way the news is reported to the public.  It is not uncommon for incumbent politicians, especially those wielding much power in government, to put pressure on a TV network or newspaper so that there will be a news blackout on a certain event or to ask for a less explosive version of a scandal in the news, especially so if it will drag their famous names in the mud.

Advertising seems to be the most manipulated type of media as it seeks to lure the public to buy the products being endorsed through it.  Proof of this is the huge amount of money being spent by big companies on advertising.  Although there are laws against false or misleading claims in advertising, many advertising firms still manage to circumvent the law to suit their purpose.  Anyway, they earn top dollars and can therefore hire the services of top-caliber lawyers.

In the end, all these only prove that reality, like all concepts, is relative.  The impression about an actual phenomenon still depends on the senses, which are affected by preconceptions and biases.  Moreover, the people who possess more power can manipulate the information and the way it is presented.  Therefore, the people must be more sensible in accepting information by discriminating the exaggerated and false news.

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