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All news sources are biased, don’t get locked in an echo chamber

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 08 September, 2018, 5:32pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 08 September, 2018, 5:32pm

I am writing to address the issue that students tend to read about news and social issues from limited media sources, which could lead to misperceptions and negatively impact critical thinking.

Obtaining information about the world and current affairs from the usual online and social media sources and set news feeds can be convenient, but might not be effective when it comes to forming objective opinions. Opinions can be easily manipulated by altering the way news is reported or by a simple tweak of the headlines. Plus, as we tend to seek out opinions/online friends whose views match ours, there is the risk of being locked in an echo chamber which does not admit disparate worlds of thought.

I believe it is unwise for students to read limited media sources, as they then run the risk of developing prejudices. Even leaving out those with an obvious stance or agenda, I believe every news source is, at least in a subtle way, biased.

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Receiving information from only one perspective is dangerous, as there will be the possible omission of facts. Instead of understanding social issues from scratch, students could already become attuned to a certain perspective. This would go against the very principle of liberal studies – which is developing critical and independent thinking skills.

Wing Li, Tseung Kwan O