No such thing as a free lunch

While you’re all probably getting tons of free food this week, someone paid for it—likely the University. Guess what helps fund the University? Your tuition.

There’s also no such thing as free information. In a world filled with accusations of fake news (cough, cough Donald Trump), real news doesn’t come without cost.

For some reason, our generation seems to think information is free. Growing up, we were never deprived of the internet, and most of us had it at our fingertips almost 24/7 via cell phones from a very young age.

Unfortunately this access to information (that’s not usually good) has ruined us for good media sources.

With fake news and people wildly complaining about “the media”, my question is: What is this “the media” you’re all talking about? Is it some clickbait from Facebook that links you to a story about a 12-year-old suing his parents for being born a red head?

You pay to attend school, companies hire employees with a variety of specializations and the people who know the most tend to make the most money. Why is news any different from these forms of information?

If you’re one of those people who consistently criticizes the way “the media” presents the news, then reevaluate your desire for free information and pay the $6 monthly subscription of a local newspaper.

You pay that much in one day for coffee, one week for parking and one month for Pandora.

For a pure democracy, there must be free and equal access to information. Well, the United States isn’t pure for a reason; because not only is it unattainable, but it’s also not ideal.

Free information isn’t good information. It’s written by internet trolls making money from your clicks, and playing along just feeds the problem. Don’t be an accessory to propaganda and garbage.

Buy news subscriptions that journalists are paid to write, copy editors are paid to edit, editors are paid to manage, designers are paid to design and sometimes web or delivery people are paid to bring it to your front door or website (all underpaid might I add). This is how these professionals feed themselves, so in return, to keep the market alive, you pay to consume their work.

If you want to read stories about a family unharmed after a tornado carries its camper 130 miles on a fabricated website, that’s fine, but don’t complain about biased news. If you want to get factual news, written by professionals and fact checked by copy editors, pick up a newspaper. And remember, MSNBC and FOX news aren’t fake news, they’re just biased news. Nonetheless, they aren’t worth your time and energy.

Most people are confident they can spot fake news. Most people are wrong. The only way to be sure is to buy a subscription to a reputable news source.

You wouldn’t want to get your hair cut for free unless you wanted to end up with uneven ends and probably missing an eyebrow. Don’t expect information for free unless you want to end up missing the real news.