04 November 2006

chicken or the egg: media

everytime i see that the rest of the world is privy to news reports that the american media isn't touching, i get the c or e itch, deep inside. what spurred this current bout of itchiness is a post over on pam's site - regarding baghdad being under seige.

this IS news. so why no reporting that day in american media?

i'm sure there are many possible scenarios as to the why. is it our responsibility to demand more? is the the responsibility of the journalists to dig deeper? is it the responsibility of the media outlets?

1. advertising. the media (print, television, etc) relies on advertising dollars to continue on. the economy relies on people buying products from the businesses that advertise. hence - the media is supposedly catering to the people that buy the products, that fund the businesses, that buy the ads.

what i can gather from this ideaology is this: that the majority of the people who consume media really don't want to know about america's role (or don't want to take responsibility for their individual role as a citizen of america) in iraq, afghanistan, darfur, oacaxa, insert other horrible mess here- but would rather live in a reality created by advertisers where everything is all sunshine and roses - and, "nothing to see here! look away! hey! check out this great deal on yet another plastic bauble/trinket you don't really need, but we'll convince you that you do!" is this really what we are in america? seriously? do we really only care more about the lives of celebrities (as long as they aren't political) and what they dress their dogs in than we do the lives of our friends or our brothers and sisters around the world that are affected every minute of every day by policies and practices that are enacted in all of our names?

2. mainstream journalists. i propose this - they aren't right or left. they're just idiots. maybe they don't even know. it could even be that they're told what to report and how to report it (embedded journalists!?). i do know this - they don't go off in search of 'the story' like they used to. in fact, nowadays, they really aren't allowed to. they could be giving away big scary secrets. if they do say something against the status quo, they are guilty of treason. or fired. or their careers are destroyed. talk about state sponsored media. freedom of the press to say what it is cleared to say.

3. the media entities. pretty much all of them these days fall under the heading of the big 8 players. freedom of the press - to combine and join until there are but two entities holding all of the cards? they're in it to make money. i'm not convinced that providing the people with all of the information is part of the game. i suppose it would be as long as it made them some cash.

i have the tendency to think that the majority of the american people assume that they are getting the full story and trust their preferred news talking heads. or am i wrong? do they know that they aren't seeing everything and just don't care? all i do know is this - it really bothers me that i have to seek out news from other countries or surf the web for indy media sources to get a decent sense of how the world views america or to find out what is happening in my own backyard.



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