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Bot Journalism: Is It Better for the Country?

April 14th, 2014 04:30:00 pm

Bot Journalism: Is It Better for the Country?

            Recently, I read an article about how an automated program reported the Los Angeles earthquake. The article was posted on the Los Angeles Times' website, three minutes after the quake occurred. William Falk of The Week asks, will journalists be replaced by bots (along with many other jobs)?


            Granted, the bot report had no style or flair. It was straight and simple facts. No opinion, no theatrical presentations, no point or counter point, no accusations and slurs. I know. So boring.


            But the better question is, should journalists be replaced by bots? Should the information given to the public be relayed by bots? Or should we simply just have the dissemination of facts and information to the public? Before they vote, before they weigh in, before they repeat opinions that they don't fully understand.


            For instance, let's look at the subject of states that won't pass the Medicaid Expansion plan. At last count, it will leave approximately five million people uncovered, without insurance. How would this story shift if we did not hear the hype from both sides? What if these questions were answered straightforwardly, without bias: Does it raise or lower your taxes? Does it qualify or disqualify you for anything you get or are eligible for now? Why won't your state's government approve it?


            What would happen if America simply got the facts? If every new bill under consideration was fully transparent, and included no attachments or amendments unless they directly effected that bill? No “trade off” or add on or pork barrel projects. What if, each time a law was passed, it is broken down into clear, easily understandable facts, and then a breakdown of how your individual representative actually voted on it? What if there were a single paragraph with verifiable facts?


            Would this help the American people become more active in politics? Would it decrease the overall apathy and sheep-like tendencies that keep this country in such a quagmire?


            If the American people weren't coming off of decades of cover-ups, lies from organizations and individuals we were supposed to trust, and slanted political/corporate spins of the truth, but instead had the facts in hand, would they start showing up? Would they become more involved? Would they utilize the power they have to make the changes we need?


            Oh, and we can still have the rip roaring, ill conceived, opinions twisted into “factual” coverage, but it just needs to come with a clear disclaimer: For Entertainment Purposes Only.



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