I think it is important to know what's going on in the world but I agree, I don't need to hear most news. Most of the news that makes splashy headlines are local stories that should stay local.
Do you think the media is creating myths about this event or do you think they are reporting the facts?
At Columbine they perpetuated a lot of myths.
I think of stories like Pat Tillman, and Jessica Lynch. There was a very similar story of heroics that came out of the Columbine coverage that was untrue.
There is certainly bias and inaccuracy in the media. There have been a few local news stories that I have first hand information about, and the reporting was very inaccurate, down to running pictures of the wrong site as reference. The news stations have a few hours to get the story out and care little about accuracy. It must get worse on a national level.
So where does that leave us when so many people are so eager to believe and accept 'truth' that supports some preconceived beliefs? It seems you can find 'truth' to support almost any belief. I think it is indeed dangerous and leads to a lot of confused and misled people, except me of course!
I don't think this has changed much in recent years, it only has gotten louder and faster.
The truth is very hard to discern, if not impossible. I think it is often better to not come to a conclusion at all about something unless you have solid information.
Is the news not by definition hearsay, or third party info?
I would say the theory is that news media are to impartially report the truth. That is, however, a very recent concept. For most of the last 500 years, since the use of the printing press became common in European societies (and, like it or not, North America is essentially European), the purpose of "news" media was to disseminate propaganda. If the local editor wasn't putting out the word as you wanted it told, you set up a rival paper--by yourself if you had the funds, and by rounding up supporters is you didn't.
The first newspapers in the United States were unashamedly partisan, and told their readers the story they wanted to hear. They weren't terribly concerned with getting the story straight, so long as it was the story people expected to read when purchasing that paper.