We have heard the saying a million times: “Don’t believe everything you read”. Or maybe it is don’t believe everything you hear. In any event, verbal or visual, with the advent of social media and 24-hour cable news, we are bombarded with a smorgasbord of “news” on demand. And how do we know if we are getting the whole story or the true story. One can look at the last presidential election and the controversy over fake new on sites including Facebook as an example.
For me the real conversation is not so much fake news, but real news. It seems that every news outlet regardless of their political affiliations all have taken to editorializing and spinning their position into their reporting. For me, news should come unfiltered, or as close to unfiltered as possible. I am not sure that is even possible anymore. Opinion and spin is part of every spec of media we consume today.
Take this past week’s National Football League playoffs as an example. I heard the radio play by play for a couple of last minute plays that determined the outcomes. Depending on whether you were listening to a Philadelphia, Atlanta, New Orleans, or Minneapolis station, your reporting of the same exact last second plays all sounded so different. Maybe we should call it reporter bias or home team bias and the after-game reporting was spun 100 different ways…
Most of us were influenced by the way each game was reported. This is played out hundreds of times each week with the commentary of the news we consume, whether it be TV, radio, web or even print for the few old schoolers like me that still like a physical newspaper or magazine to read.
The reporter in many cases has become as important as the story itself. We have all come to have our own favorite narrators of our daily information. I am as guilty as any of us. I like Anderson Cooper and Chris Cuomo on CNN. I also like Tucker Carlson on Fox and Bryant Gumball on HBO Real Sports. Except for Gumball, they each spin the news of the day in a certain direction. Sometimes my views are biased by their points of view. I also have my favorite bloggers and websites for HR and Talent information. I won’t mention any one person, however I read my colleagues pieces religiously on the other sites I write for.
So, this leads me to HR news and social media specifically. For the most part I believe the access to unbiased HR news is sorely lacking. There are certainly some great bloggers out there and I respect most of them for their view points and brevity in discussing issues publicly. But let’s be honest, they are not news or HR news reporters. We, and they, are editorial writers at best and critics at worst. Of the few magazines in the field out there, most are either a year behind the curve of innovation or tainted by being the underdog desperately trying to find an audience. So as a result many of us rely on blogs for our HR content. Maybe that is a mistake. The Jury is out on this, at least for me.
For the few talent and HR practitioners that are at the front of the curve, they need to rely on their own networks or a couple of sites like recruitingdaily.com or HR Executive Magazine and Workforce. I hope this changes in the future. I love reading and writing blog posts, but they are not always the best source of new information. Just commentary and catch up on it…..I hope we serve our own population better in the future.
It is a new year, you never know….