When we read a headline, it’s very easy to have a gut response to it. One which is excitable. This is because this is how headlines are designed, to grab your attention, to draw you into the story.
The media many times plays the outrage card, and how many of us have been outraged for some years at immigrants, unelected bureaucrats and the way Ed Miliband consumes a bacon sandwich.
Headlines and the way the narrative is designed can easily sway our views, and more often than not, it points us to a direction of confirmation bias, reaffirming what we believe and what our values are.
This is not the way to progress collectively. We need some impartiality blended with differing opinions, we need balanced debate where balance is appropriate. We need all of our viewpoints to be challenged and we need to normalise the notion that we can be wrong and we are entitled to change our mind on something.
In short, we need a full picture, the reasons as to why something is the way it is or what motivates a person of power to decide the actions the way they do. Without such analysis and scrutiny, we fall into the trap of letting people getting away with scapegoating and using their leverage to benefit their own interests whilst gaslighting everyone else.
Journalism of the highest calibre is of utmost important, one which fights against anti-intellectualism and negative partisanship. Lots of work to be done.