8th April 2024
People Power: 6 Ways Your Opinions and Feedback Can Change the News

The general public has much more influence over news than ever before. For a long time, news has been made for us, not with us.

You turned on your television for the 6oclock news, picked up a newspaper from a shop or logged onto a website to scroll through the latest headlines and that was it. The only way you could share your views on the news was by writing into the editor and, if you were lucky, your letter might be published in the readers column.

But now, with the rise of social media, we are able to have much more direct interaction with journalists and editors, and the stories they publish. Now you can comment on news stories, re-post or share them with your own views, or chat with journalists through direct message.

News outlets also invest heavily in understanding how we use news, frequently hiring audience and data teams to feedback into editorial decisions. Our views and how we engage with news have more impact on what stories are published than ever before. We need to take that responsibility seriously to ensure that we have a healthy and diverse news environment.

Here are just some of the ways you can have a real impact on news:

Accountability: Commenting and responding to news

This involves engaging with the news by commenting on articles, social media posts, and online forums. When you spot inaccuracies or bias, fact-check and provide evidence-based responses. Holding the news accountable is a crucial first step toward driving change.

Insist journalists and editors correct stories when they get it wrong

Journalists and editors are not infallible, and errors can occur. It’s your right as a news consumer to demand updates and corrections when a story is incorrect. By doing so, you help maintain the credibility and accuracy of news.

Contact Impress

If you come across issues in the news media that need attention, don’t hesitate to contact Impress. Your voice can prompt investigations and corrective actions.

Participate in public research on news

Many research initiatives and surveys focus on the public’s perception of the media. By participating in such research, you can provide valuable insights that contribute to a better understanding of public opinion and inform potential changes.

Respond to public consultations

Bodies such as Impress often seek your input on ethics and standards. Get involved in public consultations to share your views and recommendations on how the press should be held accountable and what ethical standards should be upheld.

Shop consciously for news

Just as you check the products you buy, be a conscious consumer of news. Look for trustmarks that signal a news outlet’s commitment to accountability and ethical standards. Supporting responsible journalism incentivises news outlets to maintain high standards.

Remember: you are not a passive recipient of news; you are an active participant in shaping it. By taking these steps and others, you can help ensure that the news remains a reliable source of information, fostering a more informed and engaged society. Your actions can drive change in the press and promote ethical journalism.

What can you do next?

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