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Stefan Talavera
Professor Vana Derohanessian
English 115
26 November 2014
The Downside of the Mainstream Media
It is quite known the mainstream media is usually our main source of information and
news. We must heavily rely on these media organizations that keeps us updated on what’s
occurring locally, nationally, and globally. Since awareness is important if not vital when it
comes to a world that is constantly changing as I speak. The media’s biased content can be
detrimental in terms of promoting a narrow view. The problem arises when news gets
regurgitated repeatedly to other news network among many other issues. It is a major component
for society to function and it needs to brought to attention the flaws that it also brings.

Many people obtain their news from either television, radio, or the internet. It is in this
day and age that news can reach one end of Earth to the other in a matter of seconds. This is
where news media outlets fulfill that idea of presenting information and events where the masses
can tune in. They try their best to do their job and it’s much appreciated, but in order to improve
people must critique them. This is where I come in. Solely on the fact that media presents the
news doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the whole story and truth of the matter. We look at them at
the professional level where we usually don’t expect them to make mistakes such as missing
important details, not relaying a story correctly, exaggerating to some extent, not covering major,
relevant topics, etc. Media consumers miss the point and blindly take in all the information
without thinking this isn’t all there is to it. They miss the fact that content can be biased which is
dangerous when shaping the mind because people can be conditioned to accepting only one
perspective. When people incorporate this single perspective in their lives they miss many other


perspectives. As Malcolm X said, “The media's the most powerful entity on earth. They have the
power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because
they control the minds of the masses.” The media is an ultimate weapon that can decide what it
right and wrong and it’s understood bias can be a major factor in psychological control.
Clearly, if bias is present it serves the person(s) view that made it possible in the first
place. Just like a lawyer who defends their client they present only the story that works in their
client’s favor, similarly the news can be akin as a lawyer. Though it’s certainly difficult to do
journalism objectively since even one statement can make the story lean one side over the other.
At most times the news is blatantly bias and many fail to see the deadly side effects of biased
content. For instance, take the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which has been prevalent over the past
several years. This issue will have lasting negative effects in the Gaza region and the ongoing
tension between the Israeli and Palestinian people will not go unnoticed. Especially since
Western media has been pro-Israel ever since the conflict started. In the Huffington Post, they
make an important observation when ABC news Host Diane Sawyer commented on figure 1
saying in empathy that these Israeli people are salvaging from a Hamas strike, but in fact this
picture was taken in Gaza and is actually Palestinians salvaging from the wreckage from an
Israeli strike. She made an apology on air on the correction that it was Palestinians depicted in
the picture. As you can see whether or not those were actual Israeli people in the picture, she
already had Israeli sentiment and was biased in their favor. The mainstream media however
doesn’t feel sentiment and empathy for 1,462 civilians out of 2,104 Palestinians that were killed
in Gaza as Washington Post had stated. They don’t even acknowledge that innocent Palestinian
children have died over this war just look at the pictures in the Gaza hospitals in the internet.
Then the media brands the Palestinian people as terrorists or infidels when in fact half of all


casualties are civilians when the majority should be Palestinian fighters if they makes this claim.
It appears to be a war on civilians that don’t even want to participate in this bloodshed. This is
atrocious war crimes against the Palestinians. Quite frankly the pro-Israel view would convince
you that Israel is the victim here not the Palestinians even though the Israeli military has fired
missiles into densely populated areas knowing it will injure and kill civilians in the process.
Israel has taken more and more land of the Palestinian people over the the decades and making
them refugees and targets. When bias is present this is what can happen you convince what is
truth and lie and what is wrong and right. You can call it the altering of perception and you can
be tricked into deception just like being pro-Israel despite the atrocities they’ve committed.
Not only that the same stories get repeatedly become headlines, theres needs to be a set balance
of what’s underreported and over reported. Reason being is a major story may not be covered
for the day when an irrelevant topic or story to most takes its place out of the blue. Another
instance is where a over reported story gains nationwide attention and consistent exposure may
negatively shape its people. From what we can understand the news affects the society and its
outcomes where people are convinced to think or act in a certain way. This confirms the idea that
the news may and can be used as a tool of destruction.



Work Cited Page
"Malcolm X Quote." BrainyQuote. Xplore, n.d. Web. 25 Nov. 2014.
"Biased Coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Is Not Journalism." The Huffington Post.
N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Nov. 2014.
"The U.N. Says 7 in 10 Palestinians Killed in Gaza Were Civilians. Israel Disagrees."
Washington Post. The Washington Post, n.d. Web. 25 Nov. 2014.

Figure 1

Palestinians collect their belongings from damaged houses in Gaza City. (Photo: Mahmud Hams / AFP /
Getty Images) - See more at: