Media bias 

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After attending a small event, covered by several mainstream media entities, I was interested to see how they would report the event in print and video. All reported the basic facts, as they saw and heard the same things I and my associates did, but they missed some of the nuances. Each report was different, highlighting a different perspective. A couple of outlets completely missed the most important information (from my perspective). 

Recently, an agitated church member confronted me, questioning whether a media report regarding a church entity in their area was true. Thankfully, I’d been briefed on the matter and was able to share facts that shed light on what were exaggerations. They wanted to know why the Church did not defend itself. Usually, the Church responds with facts, but the media rarely report them, as the news cycle has moved on. 

When I have time to scroll the TV channels (not often) to watch Sky, ABC and other outlets, I notice most of them report on the same things—sometimes from a completely different angle. With the increase of information coming from social media, many are choosing to get their news of the world from alternative sources. They claim mainstream media outlets are so biased they cannot be trusted. While there is bias in media outlets, the same human biases are found on social media. 

Seventh-day Adventists are interested in the news because there are things happening in the world that are signs of Jesus’ soon return to earth (Matthew 24:3-36). How do we know what is true and what isn’t? We do not want to be deceived and believe a lie (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12). We DO need to have what I call “sceptical discernment”. Be open to different interpretations of events without being alarmist and keep asking God for understanding (James 1:5). The broader church—whether local, conference or union—can usually provide wisdom.

As I read Revelation through recently, I noticed that the major events will be global—most people will know (Revelation 11:6; 13:8,12; 16:1,14; 17:8). Jesus wants us to be ready by listening to Him—spending more time in prayer, praise and reflection on His Word than anything else (Matthew 24:15,20; Mark 13:33-37; 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5; Revelation 1:3).

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