Historically, gathering important news and information and subsequently reporting it to the masses was a full-time occupation for a select group of professional journalists. It was not unusual for news of a military victory or an epic human tragedy to take days, weeks, or even months to reach the general public, and that is assuming members of the general public even had access to those reports. Today, there are literally hundreds of different news organizations working 24 hours a day to provide almost immediate information to their respective audiences.
This immediacy and accessibility has created a troubling new phenomenon, however. Because viewers and readers can literally pluck their news and information directly from competing media trees, some have begun to gravitate towards news sources which most closely resemble their own worldview or political leanings. By isolating themselves from the full spectrum of media outlets, they have virtually created an information bubble around themselves as a form of ideological or political self-defense.
The formation of an information bubble presupposes that the majority of news organizations do indeed espouse various biases and political leanings. Currently, one of the most commonly mentioned examples of biased news reporting is the ongoing rivalry between the cable news organizations CNN and FOX News. CNN is often characterized as a more politically liberal outlet, while FOX News is generally viewed as more politically conservative. This apparent bias towards one end of the political spectrum or the other has often led to a polarization of potential viewers.
It would not be unusual for a politically conservative viewer to form an information bubble by only using FOX News or a similarly conservative news outlet exclusively. The same would hold true for a more liberal viewer who only considered CNN or other liberal-leaning news organizations to be accurate and trustworthy. While both organizations have the ability to present essential news items in an objective and professional manner, some of their most ardent viewers may become very exclusive in their viewing habits.
This growing information bubble phenomenon could have the unwanted effect of media isolationism. Professional journalists continue to have the responsibility of reporting the news without prejudice or bias, but not all viewers or readers may agree with this standard. Some who live in information bubbles may prefer having their news spun in a specific political or ideological direction before it even reaches their ears or eyes. The deliberate avoidance of opposing viewpoints or negative news items through the creation of an information bubble can be a potentially troubling development indeed.