Whenever I travel, it gives me a fresh perspective not only on the place I’m visiting, but on my life and the world at large.
My recent trip to Washington, DC, was particularly eye-opening, and I found myself drawn to sites that centered on news and the media.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications, so I am already well-informed on the media’s influence. But at the excellent Newseum, I was struck by the fact that although the mediums through which we receive news have changed dramatically, the impact of the news media has been an acknowledged force in decision-making – for better or worse – since before our country was founded.
This was reinforced by a new exhibit at the National Gallery of Art that focused largely on Andy Warhol’s art based on newspaper and tabloid headlines. The many ways he re-imagined these printed pieces, which were an obsession for him, underscored how each of us interprets what we read.
No question, the media has the power to influence what we think. But, as my parents taught me, “Don’t believe everything you read.” Check your sources. Be a little skeptical and dig deeper. And then decide what’s true.
More than ever, I’ll revere the journalists who are committed to solid, factual reporting. In the words of Abraham Lincoln, “Let the people know the facts, and the country will be safe.”