Category Archives: Coffeeand.news

#CriticalDistrust

When talking about distrust in the mainstream media we have emphasized the extremity of this distrust: conspiracy theories. Examples abound such as disbelieving that the moon landing ever happened, that our government and media is actively hiding aliens, or the fluoride problem. But that’s not all coming out of Pandora’s Box.

Pandora’s Spectrum

As often is the case however, this is not simply a matter of black and white. Pandora’s Box doesn’t only contain strange conspiracy theories, but also more subtle assumptions. There is a whole spectrum of potential misinformation coming out of it. From disagreeing with the referee to assuming free masons rule the world.

This can be about any other partisan issue. Politics, foreign policy, nationalism, religion to even the smallest of disputes, such as those between cyclists and cars. Often, people will more readily believe the information supporting their side of the aisle.

If the mainstream media doesn’t give information to support your view or side, evidence to the contrary is just a search away. How you perform your search very much decides if you’re going to keep that box closed. Specifically looking for information contradicting the mainstream media and in favour of your own view is going at that box with a crowbar (e.g. referee during this match was bribed). You want confirmed of what you already believe is true, so called #ConfirmationBias.

Critical Distrust

On the other hand, if you want second or third opinions to verify what the mainstream media wrote, you might just put an extra lock on that box. (e.g. in-depth analysis of the match), and lets call this #CriticalDistrust.

It’s not easy to stomach facts, figures, stats in opposition of what you so inherently feel is the truth. However, science wouldn’t have gotten where it is now by ignoring what they see, and just blindly assume that their hypothesis is correct.

And remember, whatever side you’re on, it can only grow by acknowledging the facts, and moving forward. If your team lost, and no critical and credible media (mainstream or otherwise) supports your idea (either that he was unfair or bribed) perhaps you might need to support the idea that your team needs another coach. Stubbornly believing that it couldn’t have been your team’s fault is not going to make your team any better.

That is the difference between opening Pandora’s Box, or being critically distrustful.

#AboutJournalism

In the video, my explanation as to why we started this channel was an oversimplification. I mean, true enough, we love journalism and the correlation it has with (international) politics, society and the way we perceive our global order is fascinating.

Asking questions

However, the reasons for starting this channel are a bit more intricate. At every corner, we notice that the debate always seem to revolve around anecdotes. This media is fake news, that media didn’t tell the whole story, such media misrepresented the facts. It goes on and on and on but never touching upon the essence of certain journalistic contradictions. These are enormously important, and we don’t understand why this is hardly covered.

There are attempts made by certain media outlets, but far too few and not in a consistent manner. Shepard Smith had an excellent monologue on context, and John Oliver had a segment on the contradictions with the business model of today’s newspapers. However, what about media’s relation to democracy? Or the issue of partisan reporting?

Being informed is not just about knowing crowd sizes, but also understanding how the media reports this crowd size. How does this news outlet present the article? Is the author obviously choosing sides? Does he attempt to stay neutral? What about the title? What do other outlets tell about the subject? What’s the context of this event? How does the journalist phrase the facts? What are the sources of this article? Did they ask a second opinion?

But also questions dealing with the essence of journalism itself. How can journalism survive in the 21st century? What is the influence of ads and publicity on our media? What about hypothetical objectivity? Should a journalist be partisan or always try to maintain neutrality? What about the fact that a few large enterprises control most of today’s mainstream media? how independent is journalism of today?

And finding answers

Answering these questions, or at least, being aware of them, as you read and consume the news might very well be as important as the news itself. One of our first videos will deal with the subject of “Distrust in the News,” something there is quite a bit off lately. We have read multiple articles concluding that ‘yes, distrust is increasing’ and analysing that ‘the internet is a catalyst,’ but there is hardly an article out there dealing with the consequence on our perception of news due to this distrust (if you are curious, watch make sure to watch next week).

Journalism is something we have thought long and hard about, and with reason. We are working on a project related to journalism, and it is from this fertile ground of constant research, brainstorming, and debate that this channel came to be.

We hope to see you around,

The Coffeeand.news team