The Beehive Encyclopaedia: Complexity

Complexity comes the Latin word Complecti, meaning “with” (Com-) “intertwining”, “braiding” or “weaving” (-plecti). It therefore refers to the state of being intricate, composed of interconnected parts. It implies a condition where multiple elements or factors are involved, and therefore where understanding, analysing, and predicting the outcome of such condition can only be done by study and contemplation.

In the context of news, complexity refers to the intricate nature of the events, issues, and stories that journalists cover and present to the audience. News stories often involve multiple layers, perspectives, and influences, making them challenging to comprehend fully. Misinformation therefore often comes from the sifting of those elements in a manner that only a fraction of the context is presented to the reader, leading them to a wrong or biased conclusion.

Understanding the complexity of news is essential for both journalists and readers. Journalists must strive for accuracy and clarity while navigating intricate subjects. News consumers, on the other hand, need to critically evaluate the information they receive, considering the multifaceted nature of news stories and recognising the potential biases and nuances involved. Truth is rarely or never black and white, so information that seems too simple or absolute is often biased.

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