You Cannot Rely On Traditional Media For Your “Unbiased” News: Ex- NYT Journalist Confirms

Anika Eliz Baby

In these times of inhumane government policies and subsequent censorship, mainstream media bias is becoming increasingly evident. But the truth still shines through in a concept that is increasingly gaining popularity…citizen journalism.

Taylor Lorenz is an American journalist with bylines in big names like the New York Times and Washington Post. She was recently in town to promote her new book ‘Extremely Online: The Untold Story of Fame, Influence, and Power’ at the Sharjah Book Fair

And she sat down for a chat to discuss her book, the social media landscape, citizen journalism and of course- the controversial Elon Musk ban.

WATCH The Lovin Dubai Show: Taylor Lorenz On Elon Musk And Why People Trust Creators Now More Than Ever


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Taylor Lorenz (@taylorlorenz)

In her debut book, Taylor traces the history of the internet and the colourful people that dwell in the world wide web of social media

With her vast knowledge of social media history, she places strong faith in the rise of citizen journalists.

“I’m a big advocate for citizen journalism because I think we don’t have enough journalists around the world.”

Despite the concerns of misinformation and lack of training, she still thinks their work is valuable, with more pros than cons.

“Alot of times nobody knows their region or city better than the people within it”  

The now bestselling author truly believes that anybody can become a journalist. Taylor herself is a self-taught journalist who started out by blogging.

But how do we work towards getting better at the art of being a citizen journalist?


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Taylor Lorenz (@taylorlorenz)

“I don’t want to see platforms regulate [citizen journalism] it makes me a little nervous when they start to regulate speech in any way”

She believes that a lot more can be done to help educate aspiring citizen journalists in the form of training programs and workshops.

“I dont think you should get all of your news from YouTubers…but I also don’t think you should get it all from traditional media”

Traditional media have their own bias, and the only true solution is to do your own research and be a conscious consumer-

“As we’ve seen traditional media also is not always perfect. I say that as someone that’s worked in traditional media for a long time. They also make mistakes, they also promote certain interests. And so I think it’s just really important to have a diverse news diet and have a lot of media literacy.”

But citizen journalism- meaning raw, on-the-ground reporting, especially in times of conflict, still stands out as a primary source of information that one can rely on in this age of LIVE updates.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Vogue Arabia (@voguearabia)

“No One Is More Anti-Journalism Than Elon Musk”

Despite the high praise for citizen journalism that takes place through social media, today Taylor Lorenz talks about Twitter as a thing of the past. Like an ‘X’ that somehow managed to get worse with time…

“Twitter was such an amazing tool for getting a window into the world I mean yes we also have Tik Tok and stuff and YouTube but I think Twitter was the only text-based primary text-based social media platform and allowed for anonymity in a way I think it was really good.”

Taylor was banned from Twitter by Elon Musk a while ago once the man and his sink gained control of the bird. (You can get that tea starting at 5:52 of the interview.) But she does not seem too affected by the “loss” of access.

“It’s just not relevant anymore… it’s so hard to follow news and information on there. Everyone is like blue check verified, pushing crypto scams”

She explains the Elon Musk Behaviour as the typical “Silicon Valley Mindset”

This is also something she dives deep into in her book. The reason you see content you don’t like when you scroll through social media:

“They have this like disrespect for their users where it’s like ‘I know what content. I know who I want to make popular. And I’m going to force feed it down your throat’.”

Taylor explains why she likes a platform like TikTok more than ‘X’ now:

“Something like Tik Tok succeeds because it gives you exactly what you want. It doesn’t matter what Tik Tok leadership wants to promote, they’re gonna algorithmically give you exactly what you want to watch.”

With all those unread Terms and Conditions we have agreed to in life, the average social media user may not have many rights anymore…but the one choice we do have is the platforms we wish to give our time to.

Understand this and more in a deeper conversation with Taylor Lorenz through her book ‘Extremely Online: The Untold Story of Fame, Influence, and Power’.

READ NEXT: The Founder Of Has Not Taken A Day Off In A Decade

Get the latest Dubai news direct to your phone RN! Download The Lovin Dubai app for free RIGHT HERE (App Store) (Play Store) to get the latest trending stories to your phone.

Get the best of your city straight to your inbox.


See more

More like this