By October 21, 2016 Read More →

The Influence of Media on Society: Do we live in an age of misinformation?

Thursday, October 6, 2016

This interesting high-level seminar was hosted by the United Nations Youth Delegates for Ireland and the Permanent Mission of Ireland to the United Nations.


Recent research shows that since 62% of adults access their news through social media, it is not surprising that this facilitates the process of gathering and supplying information that constantly reinforces their pre-existing beliefs. The news we receive is decided by standards set without our input or consent. Needless to say, this resulted in us living in our own eco-chamber.

The discussion raised issues such as: will constant reinforcement of our beliefs lead to uncritical thinking? Does the media sufficiently fact-check the information it reports? Is the recent refugee and migrant situation being misreported and/or sensationalized? Ms. Samantha Barry, Senior Director of Social News, CNN, pointed out that the media has a tendency of writing stories of terrorism alongside stories of refugees which then gives a mixed message. She stated that language determines our perception and can violate our rights. However, she added that the media has recognized that people’s attention is drawn much quicker to news that show humanness in any form, anything that portrays the positive in us. In other words, good news have been traveling faster since the last three years!

Other speakers on the panel raised the awareness that as consumers of media, we need to be responsible to check the source of  our information. In these polarizing times, media can spread propaganda and use diplomacy that can build walls instead of bridges. However, media also accents literacy and can create empathy for humankind. Media can used to build a life of respect and dignity for refugees. Media can highlight any grass root efforts that are being made to educate refugees on their rights and how they can deal with their traumatic emotions.

All in all, media is one of the strongest tools that can influence the world. It is by large the fastest way to get the voices of the people heard. We have been gifted with a great asset that can help make this world a haven for all! Let us use this gift to educate, uplift, empower, and heal our global family. However, I would like to point out that in order to use such a powerful tool, we need to place ourselves at the core of our own honesty, peace, love and open-heartedness. Only then the genuine message of brotherhood, acceptance, care, and compassion for each other be conveyed in whatever we put out there.

Let’s #rethinkmedia

To watch the seminar, click here

Posted in: Media, Uncategorized

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