News has become a complicated issue now. Separating quality news from all the news is a hard thing. We humans tried to use technology to solve this overwhelming problem until we realized that artificial brains not just learned the job but also the biases of humans. They are only as good as the human who trains them. And we have fake news which means different things to different people. And good news has become quite expensive.
I remember the time when we had newspapers delivered at our home. I was still a kid but gathering news was quite easy. You had all the important stuff on page 1, sports on the last page, world news on the pages before the sports page, long reads in the centre pages etc. I could read the newspaper and just be done with everything going on in the world. Or at least what this particular newspaper editor had to say. And then came free news on the internet. That is when I understood that reading from multiple sources gave me a balanced story. And there were lots of news sources to choose from all over the world.
In the beginning, managing quality news was easy. I would bookmark a section of nytimes, subscribe to an author from the atlantic or just google to find a topic and then just choose a great source like WSJ. Everything was free and there were no boundaries to knowledge. It didn’t last long enough though. Paywalls started coming up. Search engines started to learn my patterns and showed “relevant” results. To top them off, the social media with its unlimited number of stories, fake and real started to overwhelm my senses.
That narrow period when great quality news was free was the golden era for readers. I don’t expect that to come back. But what are the alternate options right now? One, go back to the ‘Single Newspaper View’ where I just believe what that particular editor has to say. Second, spend a lot of money buying multiple news subscriptions from varied news channels. Third, read seemingly authentic freelance articles and risk believing in fake stuff. Another viewpoint I sometimes encounter is, why is news really important? Well, truth dies in darkness, doesn’t it?