Thursday, March 25, 2021

The Importance of the 'Why' Question


In  the Catholic Peace Weekly, Diagnosis of the Times, a university professor gives the readers her ideas on the 'Why Question' and its importance when it comes to reporting the news.

Effective persuasion strategies are needed for smooth communication. It's necessary to provide valid reasons to reach a conclusion that one intends.

The various types of communication experienced at home or at work are not meant to reconcile opinions or arguments. Rather with the different opinions, and arguments, we can come to a better understanding of the issue.
Humans are accustomed to looking at the world deductively. There is a risk in deductive reasoning that makes the principles or propositions acceptable without criticism as common sense, "group idea". The question "why" helps us develop our thinking, as we cannot be sure that common sense and our ideas are always true.

We get the ideas of certain groups and of the majority through media reports. Trust in the media results in trust in the information that the media delivers. Trust comes from the  authority of the information. Media secures authority from its information by utilizing reliable sources. If the media has professional knowledge on an issue or is deemed representative of many ideas, the corresponding source is considered reliable.

One way the media can prove to be a reliable source of information to the public is to use real-name reporters. If a reporter is reluctant to expose his/her identity or fears harm directly or indirectly, anonymity will be used but secures credibility by disclosing their identity.
Humans have a tendency to imitate the thoughts and actions of the majority. Therefore, the media should have an objective and logical strategy when communicating the opinion in society. The act of abusing anonymous sources by reporters destroys trust in information by weakening the logical basis of the claim. There are many cases in which unspecified  sources: officials, and close aides are used. It is not difficult to find reports where Internet users' opinions turn into public opinion. It is not possible to persuade the public to 'believe' without providing clear evidence.

Fact-checking, which the media is focusing on today, is the task of identifying reliable information from its many sources. In order to claim that it is reliable information in a real world where news is manipulated, and information mixed with rumors it is essential to provide reasonable grounds for 'why' and on what grounds the information is reliable. For information filtered through fact-checking to gain public trust, the responsibility of the media must be supported. Providing sufficient grounds and reasons for why the content of the report is reliable and continual perseverance in making sure information is impartial, independent, and factual reporting.
The question "why" can embarrass us. In order to prove that my argument is right, I have to try to find evidence in various ways. The creativity demanded by our society today is not only the ability to derive entirely new ideas, but  approach existing ideas in new ways. Checking the basis of my arguments, which I believe are right or on the contrary not true, can be the first step toward being creative.

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