Monday, March 27, 2006

So What Else is News?

Have you ever watched the news? Most people have. I'm assuming at one point in time the news existed to report on stuff. Now, it's just entertainment and subliminal spin.

News shows make a profit just like any other TV program. So, they want good ratings. That causes them to favor being entertaining over being informative. They find the stories with an emotional pull and use it to keep viewers watching. Now, it's all about fear.

The News wants the public to be afraid. A constant state of near-panic results in more news-watching. If you don't want to get the bird flu, then you better check up on what's happening from time to time. The tactics of news shows are the same as Ripley's Believe it or Not. There's always one particular incident you're waiting to hear about and it's always the very last part of the show. This keeps people tuned in for the entire show. The news does the same thing. Plus, they take advantage of this every commercial break by promising something really important coming up.

"And the Panda seems to be happy. In other news, your TV could be causing Cancer, find out if yours is....after these messages." So you turn the TV off in panic. But then how do you know if yours causes cancer? Better turn it on and see what the news guy says. The end of the world will come and before the meteor hits you'll hear, "A huge meteor is heading for Earth and due to strike in less than two minutes. Will it destroy mankind? Is there anything we can do to stop it....answers to these and more, after this."

People are already stressed enough. The news isn't helping. Sure, there are dangers needing to be reported on, but the news takes any little incident and blows it out of proportion to scare the bejeezers out of the public.

The whole Lacy Peterson thing, for instance. Did it deserve as much coverage as it got? The fact is, it's more entertaining than say, the Iraq war. And I heard a lady say something along the lines of, "Is your man capable of the same thing?" and then a commercial. That might have made for some awkward moments for anyone watching the news with their spouse.

The news is also used to help mold public opinion. And I feel like now it's job is more to divide the public. I guess when we're too pissed at each other, we won't pay attention to the people screwing us. You end up with programs like Bill O'Reilly and other personality-driven "news" shows. The truth is, they aren't news. They should admit it. It's just designed to preach to the an effort to make them hate the other side even more.

Maybe this is a recent development, but I feel like the news has always been a disquised pawn of the elite. Maybe more so now, or perhaps it's just now that people are starting to realize it.

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