Monday, September 18, 2006

Media Sensationalism: The Downward Spiral

Whatever happened to Media's responsibility? Or should we ask, is there any such thing at all?
Just go and switch on your TV for news. Right now. CNN, Fox, CNBC, you name it...
Let's rewind to July 12th and go all the way towards the end of August 2006. What did we see?
Splendid explosions, dramatic incursions of Israeli soldiers across Lebanon's border, action-packed fighter planes demolishing buildings, bridges and infrastructure, poignant stories of displaced people - foodless, homeless, grief-stricken, angry...and a whole range of emotions, and Anderson Cooper's endless tirade on what he was seeing around - apparently informing us of the situation. Good job Cooper! There are millions around the world watching this dramatic spectacle unfold in all its glory except that it's not scripted much in advance, like Cinema.
But wait, what the hell is happening in Lebanon right now? UN peacekeeping forces, Relief efforts, Humanitarian concerns...blah blah, who cares? Peace-what?
You can hardly find half hour worth of updates on Lebanon's war after-math. Has the media become so insensitive to the actual needs of humans that all they care to do is just thrust more and more drama into their viewers' lives? Now that, the sensational part of the war is over, why does the media have to care, they got their share of ratings. Before the Lebanon crisis, it was the Iraq war's initial stages, beautiful footage of precision bombings, showing everything they could get on camera. But during the Lebanon crisis, there was not even an inkling of the Iraq war because it had lost its glamour.
Does anyone ever question what's happening right now? Are we as citizens of the world getting up against the media and asking them what the situation is right now? Question them as to where their responsibility is? Isn't there a line to be drawn between sensationalism and actual truth? This more or less seems like selective truth.
Peace, Humanity, Aid efforts and other concepts like those don't have a 'cool' or 'sensational' value to them like war, guns, death and despair. Maybe it's time to make the former elements more mainstream and accepted, maybe then we can expect a world more tolerant and understanding.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is so TRUE. The public only gets to know the disasters, deaths, massacre and problems, problems … problems… What happened to the people who were affected by Tsunami? How did they get together and build the entire city within a short period of time? Why is media not showing the positive side of things happening around us? Are we not interested to know these things? Did we ever say we don’t like to see such things on TV?
Why not make more documentaries on how Japan progressed after the WWII from NOTHING to a HUGE Electronic shop. What brought them together to make such a huge progress within a short time. This might inspire other so called “developing nations” to develop even faster.
People of all age are watching TV and almost everyone are directly affected by it. Whether we like it or not we flip through the channels one after another and grasp the things unintentionally that are shown to us. What we need is positive energy around us. We need to know both the good and the bad happening around us. The most positive things we see the more we will tend to do.