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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Three Ring Media Circus

Where do we get our news? The television? The newspaper? News m agazines?

It seems that news outlets, television especially, focuses on what is morbidly popular, instead of socially or politically important.

Watch the ten or eleven o’clock news tonight, and see what story they lead with. Is it Neil Entwistle, the man accused of shooting his wife and nine month old baby? Is it some more “official” news about Cheney and his hunting accident? Is there something new we need to know about Michael Jackson, Martha Stewart, or Kobe Bryant?

While there are extremely pertinent issues facing our country today (an ongoing war, for one), the media likes to focus on what is sexy. Why listen to a report on the updates from Iraq when a grizzly murder happened in Boston?

The Michael Jackson trial overpowered the television news, taking attention away from political and social issues that were happening in America, and all over the world.

The only time Americans are interested in politics is when a politician is in trouble. A scandal! News producers salivate at such a story, and they will drag it out for as long as the possibly can. Anyone remember Monica Lewinsky?

There is hardly any international news shared with Americans, unless of course it involves them directly. But in Europe and other countries, they are informed as to news all over the world. Why are Americans so uninterested in important issues, and so fascinated with grizzly murders and morbid trials of has been celebrities?

The answer is marketing. News producers know what the bread and butter of their business is. People want drama, excitement, intensity, not updates from the joint session of congress. And advertisers want to be where the people are, so the news producers use their marketing tools to hook the people, therefore hooking the advertisers. It becomes about the all mighty dollar; not about bringing the news to the citizens of one’s country.

Some good, reliable sources for news are The New York Times, and NPR (National Public Radio). They bring a lot of international and nationally important news to the public, while keeping the profile of journalism, rather than entertainment.

So while you watch the news (as the majority of Americans do), keep an eye out for what is really important. Get your fill of morbid crimes on “Law and Order”.