While being in the Media is something I’ve always wanted to do, there is a downside to everything that glimmers gold in life. Everything and anything is news worthy, the most gruesome and tragic events become rating points to major networks and publications because that is what society feeds off of, dismay and controversy. News coverage is not that much different than Hip-Hop coverage at the end of the day, Bloggers and Journalist rush out to their computers to post the new Kanye song before anyone else to get hits on their site and similarly, news stations rush to put out the latest tip in a breaking news story to get increased ratings during a controversy.
It comes to a point in a story, one as compelling and nationally followed as the Boston Marathon bombings, when the media stops disseminating the news and starts glorifying it. CNN, ABC, FOX, NBC, all these stations go away from “the story” and start competing with each other, and in competition, you do whatever you can to “win”.
Ridiculous news tips become “insightful”, moronic assertions become “valid opinions”, nothing is out of bounds and nothing is bound sacred, even the journalistic integrity of the worlds most powerful media outlets. In the wake of the Boston Marathon Bombings, I’ve seen a tweet from one of the suspected bombers quoting Jay-Z and have that be used as a motive and intent, I’ve seen the Uncle of the bombers get badgered by the media on his Arab culture, American patriotism and asked question after question about personal information on his newphews when he stated multiple times he hand not been around the bombers family for ten years. There is no hesitation to “cross the line” under these circumstances because even that controversy creates another story, another way to snag ratings from their competitors.
When a story starts going on for twenty-four plus hours, eventually, even the biggest news stations run out of things to say. There becomes a shortage of information to report, and that is when the media starts reaching for stories. The sames images and video get ran over and over again while stations reach out to the third cousin for some insight on the suspects, or an ex from four years ago to ask was their lover deranged, anything that keeps your attention in this microwaved society where we need information immanently. If you are watching the coverage of the bombings on various networks, you will notice that little of the information being given is prevalent to the bombings, but something has to fill up the space. So now, the media tries to intrigue you on an emotional end. Today, a reporter just told a story about a mother changing her baby’s diapers outside because she was not able to get past the Police barricades, as if that was the only reason that she chose to do that. There is lot of propaganda getting pushed out and the public has to be knowledgeable on what is relevant and what is not.
I’m not saying do not watch the news or do not read breaking stories, but you have to be conscious of what you digesting. When that madman Adam Lanza went to an elementary school and opened fire on DOZENS of random, innocent children, the media tried to find out about his upbringing, they tried to psychoanalyze and profile him, blame his parents, his friends and his employer because they did not see anything like this coming. It kind of gets away from the fact that he was just…sick, and did a terrible terrible thing, but that is not news, that is not coverage, there has to be a method to the madness. By any means necessary that method will be found out, whether completely accurate or not.
In a way, the public at large is also to blame for how the media covers an event. We are so desensitized to death, violence and tragedy that the media feels the need to create a story that is “interesting”. Even with that being said it does not excuse the lengths that they go to, to rely this news. This is what Howard Beale was rambling about in “Network”, the media and the powers at large push out only what they want you tok now, they guide your opinions and conceptions of the world and the only way to change this is to genuinely get mad, create outrage and hysteria towards these outlets and their practices. At the end of the day, how these stories are covered honestly is not a big issue to the public because they still cover these stories the same way, and the ratings are still high.
God bless those who were injured or lost their lives in the bombings from this past Boston Marathon. My heart goes out to you and I think the media at large’s hearts are also affected by this sad story, its just their actions are misguided. I hope everyone can keep everything in perspective during this emotional event. Even though everything being thrown out may be interesting, that does not make everything news.