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Old 01-05-2004, 11:07 PM   #1
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Media in America today

I am a news junkie. However, as of late I'm trying to ween myself off the, and, as well as the their respective television stations. Why am I tuning out?

I am tuning out because these stations sell one thing, FEAR. Yes, we live in a scary time but you know what, I don't want to be reminded of that every single fu**in' time I turn on the TV or go on line. I understand why the news stations 'sell' fear. If the viewers are afraid of some terrorist attack, what are they going to do? They're going to tune in to get the latest info on shops that sell duct tape. Here are some things I think the news stations should do to clean up their acts.

1. Stop running Bin Laden tapes. He wants to kill us, so what? 'Kill the infidels, kill the Jews, blah, blah, blah.' It's old news. Airing the messages of his tapes NEVER shed any new light on the War on Terror (except for the CIA to say that he's alive-which should not be news to anybody, especially the CIA). The airing of these messages serve no purpose other than to scare the daylights out of viewers so they'll tune in to see what they can do to save their families from a terrorist attack. Stop the tapes, they're not even newsworthy at this point.

2. Lose the terror alert color code symbol that is ALWAYS on the screen (except during commercials, of course.) I don't know if CNN has this thing up all the time, but FOX News NEVER takes it off the screen, especially when we're on a heightened state of alert. If there's a change in the terror alert level, then put it up for a bit. But after some time, take the friggin' thing down. My sister-in-law is European and she gets scared to death every time she sees it.

3. Run some POSITIVE STORIES. I know this is a stretch, but bare with me here. There's so much f**ckin' death and destruction in the world today, how about some nice stories (and please, save the stupid animal stories, let's focus on HUMAN BEINGS.) I am sure that there are probably 100 kind acts that go unnoticed everyday and are newsworthy for every single bus bombing, terrorist act, or murder. Since when did we as a society develop this appetite for only negative news? Let's see how some people are changing other people's lives for the better. (I'm sure one reason why you don't see more positive human interest stories is because it's cheaper to just take some scary story off the wire and report about it as opposed to sending a reporter into the field with a camera operator to shoot and edit a nice piece.)

So, there you have it. I will now get off my soapbox. Any thoughts on this?

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Old 01-05-2004, 11:13 PM   #2
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ZooTV is as relevant as ever.

I want my ZooTV.

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Old 01-06-2004, 05:03 AM   #3
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Nice post...

Media these days is all about what sells.. Unfortuntely what sells these days more then a good hearted story .. is you guessed it all the bad in the world and everything that goes along with it.

I am with you on seeing the stories about humanitarian and all the good things people do in society today.. I think it would make us less angry as a society as a whole to read about the happiness every once in a while .. Not to hide our head in the sand as to what is happening with the war on terror etc.. but to be reminded of the goodness in the world as well.. it's not all doom and gloom.

But lets not forget how the media to is controlled , we only get to hear or see what is relevant and yes what sells newspapers. It is a buisness.. there will always come into play the economics of how stories are chosenand how issues are framed.. just how as it is said propgandistic our mass media is.. we just need to learn to see that and know the differnce between that and truth.
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Old 01-06-2004, 05:10 AM   #4
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if I'm not mistaken they have made it a policy over here to have at least 1 "positive" item in every news broadcast

can't say that really works for me though
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Old 01-06-2004, 05:44 AM   #5
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Same here, though I don't know if it's policy...but there is only so much saving a kitten from a burning house/stuck in a drain, or us slaughtering (or getting slaughtered ) in the cricket you can stomach.
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Old 01-06-2004, 05:04 PM   #6
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I guess the news just wants sensation. Each station and news program wants the highest ratings, and they'll use hype and sensation to keep you interested, which obviously doesn't work for everybody

What annoys me about the media is that it overkills on a lot of stories, even if it is important (terrorism) or fascinating (Mars). The same three stories are repeating all day on the three news stations as if we need our memories refreshed every hour. I also don't like it that sometimes the stations look like Entertainment Tonight by talking about celebrities like those people are more important than what's happening in the world.

Whether its propaganda or policy, I don't know. But when I watch an international station or program, it makes me wonder why American news doesn't report on a lot of events happening in the world, no matter how plain it is or if it doesn't even effect us much. I like the simple stories about places that don't get much media attention, like the effects of tourism in Malta or flag-displaying issues in Latvia. I like those stories. You get to know about the world you live in without the media focusing on all the negativity happening in other parts in the world.

I also would like to see positive stories, just to make the world seem brighter, and take away the monotony of the same stories over and over.
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Old 01-06-2004, 05:12 PM   #7
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I agree that they are fearmongering.

That's why I watch the CBC or BBC World. Totally different way of presenting the news and the added bonus of avoiding Paula Zahn's face.
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Old 01-06-2004, 05:46 PM   #8
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I must say CNN is the best of the 3 major networks. it doesn't have the terror alert color up all the time, and to me it plays more positive stories than fox or MSNBC. it also has better shows such as "crossfire" (but i am partial because i'm friends w/the hosts) and anderson cooper 360. but of course we're all entitled to our opinions which are all different. i adore CNN, but it does frustrate me, but CNN's weaknesses are the same as the others. all micheal jackson...all britney spears...WHO CARES??!?! if we want to know about them we'll watch entertainment tonight. i want REAL news. as one news junkie to another...its a hard habit to kick.
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Old 01-06-2004, 07:01 PM   #9
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BBC my personal fav with CBC a close second
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Old 01-06-2004, 07:08 PM   #10
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Originally posted by Katey
Media these days is all about what sells..
Whether in the US or abroad, media is a business and it tailors its product to its target consumer.
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Old 01-06-2004, 07:25 PM   #11
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I've stopped watching the news altogether. I get adequate news from my ISP's headlines. I don't give a damn about the latest in the Michael Jackson case or whatever, and that's what they give you. I mean, hell, I might as well be watching Celebrities Uncensored.
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Old 01-06-2004, 10:44 PM   #12
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I don't think the situation is quite as bad in Australia as it is the States. We don't have 24 hour news networks or anything, and the news that is on - on the commercial networks, anyway - is all sensationalist, but appealing to the lowest common denominator ... "Dodgy Lebanese builder cheats a battling family out of $1000 dollars which he used to buy botox for his overweight kids!" It's not real news.

I watch ABC or SBS news, which is more politically/globally slanted and, I find, a lot more objective than the commercial news. The ABC had a fantastic program on a couple of months ago called "CNNNN" which was a spoof of CNN. It was hilarious ... showing just how seriously Americans take themselves over such things as terrorism, war, etc, etc, etc.
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Old 01-07-2004, 01:59 AM   #13
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The problem with CNN, FOX and MSNBC is they are run strically for profit. That is why news stations such as CBC and BBC, which are gov't sponsered, run really news that doesnt attract only ratings.

If you are ever able to watch the National on the CBC make sure you do. It will change news watching forever
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Old 01-07-2004, 02:16 AM   #14
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I lost all (of my little remaining) repect for CNN a couple of weeks ago when an anchor giving an in-depth look at the timeline of the California mudslides (complete with satellite maps and computer graphics) looked right into the camera and very seriously said, "Now, as you all learned in school, water flows downhill."

The biggest problem with modern media is the 24-hour news cycle. That need to always show something "newsworthy" distorts reality by keeping the focus on one or two major stories and ignoring smaller ones.
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Old 01-07-2004, 11:26 AM   #15
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Give Countdown With Keith Olbermann on MSNBC a chance. Yes, it has reports on terror alerts and such, but it also features more heartwarming fare as well. Yesterday's show featured a former Romper Room kids' show hostess who'd had her "Magic Mirror" prop stolen, and another former hostess of the show presented her with another one. Maybe it doesn't sound like much in the retelling, but it really was a sweet little story.

I personally enjoy watching Keith Olbermann. Not only is he rather good-looking, but you can tell he doesn't take some of the nonsense posing as news seriously. Unfortunately, his show has the bad luck to be up against Bill O'Reilly's show, so it doesn't get the great ratings it deserves. But it really is well-done, and well-worth checking out.

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