Media Ownership

“And when you trust your television
What you get is what you got
Cause when they own the information, oh
They can bend it all they want”

The words from John Mayer’s song “Waiting on the World to Change” couldn’t help but come to mind when I started contemplating this newest of entries.  The media these days is everywhere.  There is no escaping it.  From the TV and the radio (where it’s been for decades) to the internet via our laptops and even our cell phones.  Print journalism isn’t dead either… it’s just having to readjust to the modern era and to being online rather than in paper form as it has been done.  But the problem isn’t the over-saturation that we are facing with the media, it’s that the media is becoming more one-sided and polarizing.  And worse yet, the major media outlets are huge media conglomerates, which means they are going to be controlled as to what is reported and what isn’t.  To list an example, ABC News isn’t going to freely and openly report a story that is anti-Disney (since Disney owns ABC).  There might be a quick blip about it, if at all, but no more than that unless it’s quite huge.

Whether someone follows conservative-based news or liberal-based news, it’s all fairly the same.  The main difference is going to be the information that is given to the person following.  Both sides are only going to give someone the necessary information that points to their side and that’s it.  That because the major news outlets are controlled by the almighty advertising dollar.  If they aren’t telling people what they want to hear, those people will go find somewhere else that will.  It’s not just the media conglomerates that are at fault here, it’s the people, too.  They should be demanding more constantly from their media sources.   And if a person has any rationality at all, they should be getting their information from more than one source to start with… and not from the same media conglomerate (a person always needs to check on an overall parent company).

If you’ve looked at my bio, you’ve noticed that I have a media-based education and have a media-based job.  So I’m constantly inundated with that source.  But I have also made it a point to get into other sources such as the Associated Press, Reuters, BBC, and many smaller news organizations not just the big conglomerates.  I’m also not afraid to go look something up in some detail if I need more information on it.

The one thing I am always asking when people are having me read over things or watch things is… “What isn’t this telling me?”  There are usually plenty of other questions to be asked.  One must constantly think that if this source is telling me everything that points to the side of the story they want me on, then what information aren’t they telling me.  These types of questions can usually be found right from the news story itself… and then takes a little searching to find it out.  These giant media conglomerates already know that most people are too lazy to question anything or to look anything up for additional information.  So they can bend it however they want to since they own so many different forms of media outreach.  And then they can claim the other side is just full of crap… and again, people will believe it.

Look back at the summer of the healthcare debate.  The media just through more fuel onto the spark by making it a huge outcry from all of the people.  And the more heated it got, the bigger the media frenzy became.   Yes, I know people weren’t happy with the legislation (already covered this topic before), but I don’t think it would have gotten so out of hand if the media hadn’t hyped it up so much.  Media outlets from either side weren’t really asking the hard questions or thoroughly and accurately examining the legislation.  They just had their “talking heads” pick out the same “talking points” and give their opinions until they were blue in the face.    Sadly, neither side was really debating or discussing the issue more than they were just yelling about it.  And yes, there is a big different between discussing/debating and yelling.

“One day our generation
Is gonna rule the population
So we keep on waiting
Waiting on the world to change “

Another part of John Mayer’s song also makes something very clear to us… that we are going to be running things eventually.  And if things are going to change, then we need to be well-informed.  If we only get our news from a single source (or from a single conglomerate), then our views on anything are skewed toward that one side.  And it’s important that as a populace that we acknowledge the other side of an issue and be able to see things from their perspectives.  There isn’t always a right or wrong side… as there is usually some good and some bad in everything.  But the key thing is to always question and never be afraid to ask those questions.  Most importantly, one must be open-minded enough to either move or left or right depending on what is found.  Preconceived notions as to what the answers to your questions are should be thrown out the window… as new information can always change your views. One’s views on things should be determined by the information found… and not vice versa.

The media is supposed to be our window to our world around us, and it’s important to hold them to that task by asking more of them.  These days it’s all about hype and dollar signs.  Stories will be bent to whichever side the outlet decides they want their audience to.  So it’s up to us, as particular individuals, to go above and beyond.  Those that are true independents are usually the ones that don’t let a particular media outlet influence their minds with all the hype and one-sided information.   And neither should the left or right.

So we should all rise above the liberal and conservative crap that gets put out there.  It’s OK to be for one side or the other, but the media’s job should be to be straight down the middle (neither pro or con) and give us all the necessary information for the public to make up it’s own mind and not bend to the will of the media outlet.  So as we wait for the world to change, this is where it starts.

Advertisements

One Response to Media Ownership

  1. Noah Elmers says:

    Certainly.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: