One thing that has become obvious to me over the years is that you can’t trust the media. That is because the media receives it’s income through advertising. As many people have said over the years:
“If you’re not paying for it, you’re not the customer, you’re the product.”
While that thought has always made me distrust the media to some degree, I assumed that they were really only swayed by their advertisers’ agendas. Well, according to Ryan Holiday (media manipulator) in a video interview with Epipheo.TV, it’s worse than that. The media doesn’t even really care too much about getting things right. They just care about driving as many page views as possible. That’s what drives their advertising profits after all. So, fact checking isn’t necessarily important to them.
This is important if you are an entrepreneur and are making decisions for your business based on what you read in the news. It means that you have to really think about any news that informs your decisions. You need to fact check them yourself if the information is crucial to an important decision because you can’t trust that the reporter fact checked it before they ran the story. The story or the data could be completely false. So, if you need reliable information you either need to build your own news team to vet everything before you make a decision or you need to find a reliable source that accepts no advertising.
Personally, I just fact check as much of what I read as possible (when it’s important). The options I listed above are both expensive for a bootstrapped startup. Just knowing that any piece of infrormation you consume from the media might be erroneous and that you need to check it first, can go a long way towards making better business decisions.