Reading Media Critically
The media has become our source of information, entertainment and an addiction that self perpetuates. We are following trending topics, reacting to actors’ lifestyle choices and offering our opinions on an open platform 24/7. We are so immersed in the media that our lives have slowly have become dependent on the hype. 20/20 investigates how the media can get out of control in their report, Media Hype.
Over sensationalized media causes undue fear and panic. The Summer of the Shark was an over-reaction to reports of shark attacks. The reports neglect to inform that there was no change in the amount of attacks from previous summers.
Bob Lichter reports that the media is hyped to cause fear. If there is excitement (murder, sex, scandal, etc.) the benefit is the amount of magazines, papers sold increases. Good television equals bad journalism.
BMW offered an all expense paid trip to Italy/Spain to car journalists. Some journalists don’t allow for “gifts” to maintain a clear objective and perspective.
Joey Scaggs made up stories in order to force the media to be more careful about what they report. He allows the media to run with the story, no matter how ridiculous and outlandish. The Fat Squad was a group of people that he created who physically reprimanded people for eating unhealthy. Once revealed as a hoax, the media does not usually report they have been duped not do they admit the mistake of nor researching the story before releasing it to the public.
While Jennifer Aniston defends her choice to have a father for her possible future child, I think we should question why we care. Do we care because the media has given their two cents? If we decide to add fuel to their fire, there will be fire which will be seen by many. People are taking control of what is being said today, and what will be read as our history for the future though shared networks and open source platforms. With that amount of influence and control, we should have something more meaningful to say and remember that today will be tomorrow.