Are You Making Up Your Own Mind or Are Thought Leaders Doing it For You?
What is the two-step flow theory? The two-step flow theory takes a close look at role of mass media opinion leaders and their effect on the public. Prior to the two-step flow theory there was the hypodermic theory which is a theory that looked at the direct influence that the mass media had on the public. The two-step flow theory takes this a bit further and explains that it may be a bit more complicated than just the media telling us things and us blindly believing. Opinion leaders are people in society that follow the news or politics very closely they then decide what is important to share with the public and those who trust them.
This has become EXTREMELY prominent in the world of fake news. We can even look closely at the way news spread about the COVID-19 pandemic over the past years. Guy Berger, the Director for Policies and Strategies regarding Communication and Information at UNESCO, shared those falsehoods related to all aspects of COVID-19 have become commonplace.
He shares “when disinformation is repeated and amplified, including by influential people, the grave danger is that information which is based on truth, ends up having only marginal impact (Burger, 2020, pg 1).”
In a world where information is being thrown at us by everyone all the time, I do my best to fact check news where I can and listen to as many unbiased opinions as possible. Some of the places that I check information include the following:
· The Wall Street Journal
· Associated Press
As someone who leans left when it comes to politics, I tend to listen more to CNN and read emails from The Skimm, as they tend to align more with my beliefs and thought processes. That being said, it is important to look back at the places listed above and get a more neutral stance just to make sure what I am hearing from thought leaders on left leaning platforms aren’t misinforming me.
During this coronavirus pandemic, 'fake news' is putting lives at risk: UNESCO
And fears are growing that this phenomenon is putting lives at risk, prompting some with symptoms to try unproven…