A system approach to understand News

Does the current design of news enhance systems thinking within the society or not? this question piqued my interest for a long time, it’s evident that we depend on information to think and make decisions, in systems thinking, our ability to see and analyze deeply all the information is vital to understand the system .

Take seeing the big picture as it’s usually the first step to apply systems thinking to any problem, news mainly suffer bias, this means one can’t grasp the whole picture of events, a newspaper is designed to reflect specific views and interpretations of what happened, a journalist covering a protest may not take photos from all sides, a news story then will not even show all the taken photos, a reader is bounded to access to all information and consequently limited to think holistically and knowing all factors affect the event or the system.

Not having access to information results in lacking to understand the causality,a writer would usually reduce the causes of events to few reasons, this appears in their interpretation, they will show why an event happened from that perspective, a reader, then, might be susceptible to questionable causes which is a big barrier to draw any causal loop diagram.

What’s the solution to this problem? News aggregators by far the most efficient way to provide readers with access to many different sources of news for the same news story, Google news is the best example, although this solves the problem partially and not exactly at the design of the news stories, however, the big change will happen when news industry start to consider enhancing systems thinking as one of goals of the news story, by redesign how the information collected and presented, and even the writing style that could motivate readers to consider multiple views, historical context of events and relations to other stories.