Assessment: Media Both Includes and Excludes

Pages: 3 (1098 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  Topic: Terrorism  ·  Buy This Paper

¶ … media both includes and excludes in order to make its point. An author, even an in academic works, chooses sources carefully to provide evidence for the thesis. In the same way, the way news casting has evolved over the last several decades does the same thing. When we see a news reporter standing outside a political rally, we can only assume that the scene behind them is a real. When a news reporter dons a flack jacket and helmet and reports from a war zone, with the sounds of small arms fire in the distance, we cannot help but form an opinion about the area in question. In a sense then, our perceptions as the viewing public are being shaped by the inclusion of "staged" news -- of the effect, of the scene, and whether strictly choreographed or not, we do seem to adopt the "mean world syndrome" of perceiving the world is a far more dangerous place than it is, simply based on the framing of the newscast -- and likely what "sells" in viewer ratings.

In a real way, the intensity of this "telling of television" has increased since the nightly news became popular in the late 1950s. We see images of news casters like Walter Cronkite, no maps, no graphics, simply a professional reading of the news and then compare to even the most local television station's sound bites of the newest robbery, murder, or violent event and we wonder if we are living in the same country. In fact, most statistics tell us that the world (other that war zones) is a much less violent place now than ever before. We would never know this by watching the news, though.

This cannot help but influence out behavior, for the media is the average person's view into the world. And if a picture is worth 1,000 words, then people who watch a large amount of television see a world through the eyes of the stagers; as an intimidating, unforgiving, and exceedingly dangerous world. We cannot help but be influenced in our voting and decision-making opinions by this view, for many, this is the only view available.

Part 2 -- in the world of media, one of the ways in which a stereotype is created is a three pronged technique -- repetition, simplicity, and rewards for believing. There are numerous examples of this, but one that comes to mind occurred surrounding the after math of the September 11, 2001 Terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The facts of the event were that on September 11, 2001 a terrorist organization known as Al-Qaeda put in motion the largest ever terrorist attack against the United States of America. Al-Qaeda, a splinter Islamic group led by Saudi Osama Bin Laden, planned to hijack several civilian airplanes and crash them into multiple buildings on American soil. On 8:46 AM on the morning of September 11, 2001 Flight 11, which was one of the hijacked planes slammed into the north World Trade Center Tower; several minutes later flight 175 another civilian aircraft crashed into the second Tower. A few moments later third airliner crashed into the wall of the Pentagon, and the fourth plane crashed in rural Pennsylvania, likely the result of the passengers and crew… [END OF PREVIEW]

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