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org/about/problems#.UF7aH43ibAE http://www.ukessays.com/essays/media/mass-media-society.php http://www.ajr.org/article.asp?id=785 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leveson_Inquiry Interesting: Press is the only business given explicit constitutional protection (in U.S./U.K. etc) Reliability of the Press/Media: can it ever be truly objective Yes No, it is impossible: Most newspapers who advocate objectivity only practice an illusion of objectivity. A soon as a reporter or editor chooses which pictures to insert, which quotations to use; their own personal bias comes into play. Example: Washington Post amended its newsroom guidelines (blanket ban on posting anything online that expresses a political or other bias) on the use of social media tools after a reporter posted comments on Twitter that revealed his political leanings It doesn’t solve the root biasness that everyone possesses; it only tries to mask it from the public. No, it is not practical for news outlets: “The first business of a newspaper is to stay in business.” Sensational reporting: profit motive after Watergate 1974, the suffix “-gate” was attached to a large number of political scandals, regardless of importance, in order to drive up controversy and thus paper sales The Sun (UK) - has the highest rate of successful Press Complaints, publish “sensational news” like Prince Harry nude pictures/yet one of most popular newspapers in UK, beating out The Guardian in 2010. No, news outlets are inherently and openly bias Fox News: Fox News host Bill O'Reilly has stated that "Fox does tilt right",
In a 2006 academic content analysis of election news, Rasmussen Reports showed that coverage at ABC, CBS, and NBC was more favourable toward Kerry than Bush, while coverage at Fox News Channel were more favourable toward Bush.
No, there is no reason to be totally objective:
non-partisanship. The paper then retracted the story after huge pressure from Chiquita. the sensation wasn't that Chiquita was so unfair in its methods. integrity – are what actually constitute “genuine objectivity. self-esteem/body image Yes. tax evasion. 4th estate Yes. but more that the reporter that investigated this apparently stole some information from internal Chiquita voicemails. an advertising customer.Critical thinking. and denounced the report for three days on it's front page. solving problems with government. violence towards some workers and even killings.” Not total neutrality Sometimes there is no such thing as two sides to a question: etc is it logical to put Holocaust denial arguments alongside stories of the suffering of Jews? Role of the Media: aim to inform only or shape public opinion Responsibility of the Media: Do the media have a role to play in solving/creating problems in society Yes. influencing public opinion 9/11. concerns of community: how governments handle it Kate Middleton vs Closer (French magazine publishing nude photos) invasion of privacy . Yet. (!!) Balance of freedom of expression vs. religion/government more important Influence on Society: who has more power – media conglomerates/consumers/government? Media controlled by consumers: profit motive appeal by sensationalizing Media controlled by government: censorship/forced to follow point of view Media controlled by conglomerates: use vast resources to bend media to their will Chiquita. a company directly influencing USA to commit to a Banana Trade War had a damning media report about its terrible working practices and illegal activities such as bribery. WMDs in Iraq No.
000 angry emails. They tracked sexual preference to a specific nerve bundle within the brain (rams who mated with rams had a small bundle. a public information officer at OHSU. When reporters and editors interviewed in the ASNE study were asked why they thought mistakes were being made. A poll by USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup found only 36 percent of Americans believe news organizations get the facts straight. nonpartisan research firm Public Agenda polled 125 senior journalists nationwide in 1999 on various questions. Current Problems in the Media The burgeoning problems with the media have been documented in great detail by researchers.” and the remaining third said it was "inattention. Almost 50 percent of the public reports having had first-hand knowledge of a news event at some time even though they were not personally part of the story. compared with 54 percent in mid-1989.Princess Diana controversy: media have a role in her death? As reporters chased her car through the streets of Paris: people after the controversy believed that press have abused freedom (poll right after her death by Center for Media and Public Affairs: 80% believed press ignored people’s privacy) Twisting/Sensationalising Science: The research was basic: scientists were trying to understand why some rams preferred to mount other rams instead of ewes. The level of inaccuracy noticed is even higher when the public has first-hand knowledge of a news story. 23 percent of the public find factual errors in the news stories of their daily paper at least once a week while more than a third of the public . one third said it was a combination of being "overworked" and "understaffed. Story was picked up by different news outlets. The Columbia Journalism Review and the nonprofit. and many misreported or embellished the facts of the study. . with the remainder finding errors ranging from misinterpretations to actual errors. continues to slip. When asked: "Have you ever seriously suspected a colleague of manufacturing a quote or an incident?" a disturbingly high 38 percent answered yes. The study also found that 73 percent of adults in America have become more skeptical about the accuracy of their news. According to an in-depth study by the American Society of Newspaper Editors in 1999. Of that group. and rams who mated with ewes had a large bundle). only 51 percent said the facts in the story were reported accurately. received 14.35 percent . Headlines like “Brokeback Mutton” emerged. In two weeks. inexperience. poor knowledge" and just-plain-bad editing and reporting.see spelling or grammar mistakes in their newspaper more than once a week. carelessness. already low. A simple article about basic research turned into cruel scientists killing sheep to find a ‘cure’ for homosexuality. Then PETA got involved. 34 percent said the "rush to deadline" was the major factor. academicians and journalists themselves: High levels of inaccuracies Public confidence in the media. Jim Newman.
A majority (52 percent) thinks the media needs to give corrections more prominent display. Mistakes regularly left uncorrected A 1999 poll by the Columbia Journalism Review and the nonprofit research firm Public Agenda of 125 senior journalists nationwide found: Fully 70 percent of the respondents felt that most news organizations do a "poor" (20 percent) or "fair" (50 percent) job of informing the public about errors in their reporting. In a study by the American Society of Newspaper Editors. kidnappings. 78 percent of the public thinks journalists enjoy reporting on the personal failings of private officials." A paltry 2 percent awarded a rating of "excellent. eighty percent of the American public said they believe "journalists chase sensational stories because they think it will sell papers. issues that affect our lives and the whole world receive little attention. Barely a quarter called it "good. not because they are important." Over 80 percent believe sensational stories receive lots of news coverage simply because they are exciting." A remarkable 91 percent think newsrooms need more open and candid internal discussion of editorial mistakes and what to do about them.Sensationalism There is tendency for the press to play up and dwell on stories that are sensational . car crashes. Almost four in ten of those people interviewed feel sure many factual errors are never corrected because reporters and editors are eager to hide their mistakes. Over 40 percent said their news organization does not even have a person designated to review and assess requests for corrections. sex scandals and the like. " Another 85 percent of the public believes that "newspapers frequently over-dramatize some news stories just to sell more papers. 48 percent of the public sees misleading headlines in their paper more than once a week. not because they think it is important news. Poor coverage of important issues While the media is busy covering sensationalist stories.murders. The Environment A study by the Center for Media and Public Affairs found the number of stories about the environment on the network news went from 377 in 1990 and 220 in 1991 to only 106 in . More than half think most news organizations lack proper internal guidelines for making corrections.
the answers range from 1 percent to 5 percent.7 percent of GDP.14 percent. debate over environmental issues has never been … so obfuscated by misleading claims. The actual amount of our budget allocated is 1 percent. infections and child birth complications.1998 and 131 in 1999. while the number of entertainment and celebrity stories has doubled. said in 2003 “Whether the subject is global climate change or local sprawl. . A sizeable amount of our aid is political in nature and does not go toward benefiting people in need. Americans on average said 14 percent.8 million lives were lost needlessly (approximately the combined number of people living in Massachusetts.” Government “The Project for Excellence in Journalism. run a highway through our backyard or send us to war. Foreign Aid and 24. Similarly.000 Easily Preventable Deaths a Day At the Rio Earth Summit the world’s industrialized nations agreed to fix international aid at 0. CBS. aging power plants or newborn salmon. The US ranks at the very bottom with a pathetic 0. When Americans are asked what percentage of the GDP for international aid would be reasonable. on the ABC.” . What difference does it make? Well. reporting on the front pages of the New York Timesand the Los Angeles Times. The only countries to reach that target have been the Scandinavian countries. they thought 20 percent was currently being allocated. according to "The State of the News Media in 2004” report by the non-partisan Project for Excellence in Journalism. Though polls repeatedly show Americans overwhelmingly (higher than 80 percent) want improvements in the environment. while the number of stories about celebrities rose from one in every 50 stories to one in every 14. has never been more difficult. Meanwhile. it's government that can pick our pockets. At the same time. showed that from 1977 to 1997. the number of stories about government dropped from one in three to one in five. In all. or on the air. getting environmental stories into print. According to the World Health Organization about 28. to 221 stories in 1998. Dan Fagin. and onTime and Newsweek. President of the independent Society of Environmental Journalists. and that in fact.000 people who die every day around the world could be saved easily with basic care. the number of stories about entertainment soared from 134 in 1990 and 95 in 1991. when asked what percentage of the federal budget should go to foreign aid. Even when private donations are included in the mix. slap us into jail. our country still ranks at the bottom in total giving per capita. and NBC Nightly news programs. Knowing what government does is “the news we need to keep our freedoms.Bill Moyers The reporting on national affairs by the major newsmagazines has declined by 25 percent. and 172 in 1999. last year 8. New Hampshire and Maine) due to preventable diseases.
that we think we are giving far more than we are. For example.Yet the press rarely reports on any of the above – that we give so little. 61 percent for ABC.45 percent -. in a joint survey by the Education Writers Association and the Public Agenda. having gone to war. When the press does report on foreign aid. NBC at 56 percent and CNN at 54 percent . Those receiving their information from Fox News showed the highest average rate of misperceptions -. When the percentages of people misperceiving in each area were averaged. while 55 percent of those who received their information from CNN or NBC had an inaccurate perception. because the variations were also found when comparing the demographic subgroups of each audience. on the specific question of whether the majority of the people in the world favored the U. Nonprofit media organizations rate far higher on educating the public than for-profit entities A seven-month series of polls by the Center for Policy Attitudes and Center for International and Security Studies at the University of Maryland found that Americans receiving their news from nonprofit organizations were far more likely to have accurate perceptions related to American foreign policy than those receiving their information from for-profit entities. 71 percent for CBS and 80 percent for Fox.all with rates of misperception twice as high as the nonprofit media organizations. The study also found the variations could not be explained as a result of differences in the demographic characteristics of each audience. are a direct result of not receiving basic care. that we are avoiding what we agreed to. Over 44 percent of journalists rated “print media with a national readership” as fair to poor in their coverage and 84 percent rated “broadcast media with a national audience” the same. Educators and journalists agreed. the media often perpetuates the myth that we give substantially and in proportion to our means. 58 percent who received their information from ABC misperceived and only 26 percent of those who received their information from PBS and NPR misperceived. if clear evidence had been found linking Iraq and al-Qaeda and if worldwide public opinion supported the war in Iraq). About 84 percent gave “broadcast media with a national audience” ratings of fair to poor and only 1 percent gave a rating of excellent. and that a huge number of deaths every day (eight times the number that died in the 9-11 attacks).while .S. only 23 percent of those who received their information from PBS and NPR had an inaccurate perception. Those receiving information from the other networks fell into a similar pattern as demonstrated in the example above: Fox at 69 percent. in three areas of information related to Iraq (whether weapons of mass destruction had been found. Similarly. Education Large numbers of Americans give low ratings to the media for school coverage. 44 percent gave “print media with a national readership” ratings of fair to poor. while only 4 percent gave a rating of excellent. For example. 63 percent of those who received their information from CBS misperceived. that Americans think giving at a higher level would be reasonable. it was found that those receiving information from for-profit broadcast media outlets were nearly three times as likely to misperceive as those receiving from the nonprofit media organizations.
the media would be all over the story.. and NBC at 30 percent. declare it a crisis and concoct a solution. they suddenly notice. next they realize the problem will not be easily fixed and will be costly. The media does not cover itself Of the roughly 1.a full one quarter less. What critical reporting exists. ABC at 30 percent. plummeting to two articles in 2001. gap coverage virtually disappeared again. finally.. holding the offending institution up to a probing light. Yet for Republicans who took their news from PBS and NPR. then. Here is an example from research done by Laura Haniford of the University of Michigan. “Only a handful—at most a dozen. and that differences in demographics could not explain the variations in levels of misperception. it is for the most part timid and superficial. CBS showed at 36 percent.. This same pattern occurred in polled Democrats and Independents. What amazed her was that during that entire period the achievement gap remained substantial and virtually unchanged. The study found similar patterns also existed within demographic groups. they resume ignoring the problem.. When law firms breach . the average rate was only 32 percent . Every journalist surely also knows that the old-time standards.. Similarly. including a Pulitzer Prize.. Haniford focused on the news media's coverage of the racial achievement gap — the difference between how whites and blacks score on standardized tests. CNN at 31 percent. though at times is refreshingly good. Most of us in the business. then bored.have been weakened if not discarded.. society's watchdog is a lamb...S. However among those who had their news from PBS-NPR the average rate was 10 percent. among those with bachelor’s degrees or higher. About 15 papers have an ombudsman on staff to respond to readers' complaints. This pattern was observed at other educational levels as well. Schanberg adds: It's no secret that journalism in America has become more slipshod and reckless. The media’s short attention span Anthony Downs of the Brookings Institution in the 1970’s began observing what he called “the issue attention cycle” in the American media. and recipient of many awards. If this were happening in any other profession or power center in American life. in 1997. for some reason. The cycle is: the news media and public ignore a serious problem for years. the average rate for all Republicans for the three key misperceptions was 43 percent. however. The Ann Arbor News published 11 articles on the achievement gap in local schools. 92 achievement-gap articles appeared. one of the most respected journalists of this era. She found that from 1984 to 1995. When it comes to looking at itself. including The [Washington] Post—actually have a reporter who covers the press full-time as a beat.11 percent. then suddenly. he has been a reporter for The New York Times for more than twenty-five years. For example. the average rate of misperceptions was 27 percent. they grow angry. at times promiscuous. stand by as mere observers.” according to Sydney Schanberg.those receiving their information from PBS and NPR showed the lowest .500 daily newspapers in the U.
reported for the first nine months of 2003 profits of $853.. But when our own profession is the offender. Scripps Co..’ …. “I suspect we all know examples at own our stations and papers where things like the Blair incident have happened. feel increasingly trapped between their professional values and the marketing/profits mentality so evident now everywhere in the news industry. That's 17 cents on every dollar made as profit for the company. in a Seattle Times column August 08. a professor of news media and public policy at the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington and formerly the dean of the school. As a loyal American. we journalists consider it news and frequently put it on the front page. not serving public Geneva Overholser (former Editor of The Des Moines Register and board member of the Pulitzer Prize Board and American Society of Newspaper Editors) describing in 1990 a list of factors rapidly eroding the quality of reporting. investigate and bring to the light of day the relevant facts and issues.89 billion. “There is the fact that newspaper corporations typically retain truly remarkable profit margins: 30 percent is not unusual and the metro average has been somewhere around 17 percent. “Citizens are asking journalists and media critics why the media don't ‘do something’ to discover and publish ‘the truth. while the market/profit mentality asks.W. and to a considerable extent in the print media.” Ferguson said.Margaret T. yet the average beginning salary for a newspaper reporter last year was $17.ethical canons. . The old professional values urge them to dig.. we go soft. Meanwhile. a profit margin of 37 percent. Gannett Co.” . By failing to cover ourselves. especially in electronic news.” Current data supports Overholser’s assertions. . reported quarterly profits of $60. said.000. for example. a profit margin of 17. In October. we are safe in our careless or abusive practices. trained as a journalist some 45 years ago.9 million for the company's newspapers on revenues of $164 million. 2003. “Are we prepared to investigate ourselves?” Focus on huge profit margins. 2003. virtually assured that because we are not likely to be scrutinized by our peers. owner of another chain of daily newspapers.” Renee Ferguson of WMAQ in Chicago said the unwillingness on the part of the media to monitor itself is amongst the reasons behind an increasing problem of plagiarism among print and broadcast reporters. the push for corporate profit margins much higher than those of average American businesses goes on — with 40 to 100 percent in the electronic media and 12 to 45 percent in the print media common during 2003. Wall Street brokerages cheat clients or managed-care companies deny crucial care to patients.2 million on revenues of $4. we have made ourselves complacent. Inc.4 percent.. the E. I am convinced that journalists in the U. one of the nation's largest newspaper chains. In the same month.S. Gordon. ‘Is it worth it? Do enough people care?’ It seems clear enough that the market/profit mentality has won out.
According to washingtonspectator. inspector. The Project for Excellence in Journalism said Internet news also experienced cutbacks: “In the area with the greatest potential. and where the investment has come is in technology for processing information. broadcast network correspondents’ numbers are down by one-third. N. Anecdotally.” “Some 62 percent of Web professionals say their newsrooms have seen cutbacks in the last three years . The same survey found 57 percent of those polled incorrectly believed Saddam Hussein assisted the 9/11 terrorists. Only 17 percent gave the correct answer: none. weapons inspectors had "found proof that Iraq is trying to hide weapons of mass destruction.” The public is misinformed and uninformed A few heavily studied examples: Foreign Policy A Knight Ridder/Princeton Research poll of Americans showed 44 percent of respondents believed "most" or "some" of the 9-11 hijackers were Iraqis. and TV networks now have half the previous number of reporters in their foreign bureaus. they are cutting personnel the most: Our data suggest that news organizations have imposed more cutbacks in their Internet operations than in their old media. there are 2. Moyers also stated that since the 1980s. 59 percent of Americans said newspapers are concerned mainly with making profits rather than serving the public interest. A New York Times/CBS News Poll revealed that 45 percent of respondents believed Saddam Hussein was directly involved in the 9/11 attacks. not in journalists to gather news. In an in-depth by the American Society of Newspaper Editors. not people to gather it. . The number of jobs lost is believed to have continued falling in 2004. The American public agrees with Overholser and Gordon. That number is far bigger than the 37 percent of national print.com and speeches made by Bill Moyers." A report of such proof was never made by Hans Blix or any U.despite huge increases in audiences online. A Pew Research Center/Council on Foreign Relations survey around the same time showed that almost two-thirds of people polled believed U. radio and TV journalists who cited cutbacks in their newsrooms.700 fewer reporters employed by newspapers in 2003 than there were in 1990.N. full-time employees of radio stations decreased by 44 percent during the period from 1994 – 2000. Web journalists say what investment there is tends to be in technology for processing information. nor was it made by Mohammed El Baradei or any other official of the International Nuclear Regulatory Agency. Media outlets are investing less in the quality of what they do According to the Project for Excellence in Journalism.
Moving from a spate of media coverage of gaffes by Bush and Gore in the 2000 race to a period of focusing on the issues. of those polled 47 percent said they "didn't know. four out of five American newspapers were independently owned and published by people with close ties to their communities.Sydney Schanberg . on average.Thomas Patterson. the Executive Director of the Shorenstein Center's Washington Office and co-director of the Vanishing Voter Project. The gut decision that journalists have to make is whether they want to be regarded as professionals with honor or merely as pickup teams of scribblers and windbags. nearly 1. only a few weeks before the election. the media did little to correct the misperceptions and in fact." . almost 50 percent of registered voters were able to recognize none or only one of the twelve candidate positions. Bradlee Professor of Government and the Press at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and director of the Shorenstein Center surveys Media consolidation In 1945. Despite wide knowledge of the above polls and others similar to them. Only 10 percent knew more than half of the policy positions about which they were asked. which concentrate on reaping large profits and are not much given to public selfexamination on ethics and quality issues. when voters were read a major issue position attributed to a candidate and then asked whether it was the candidate's actual position.500 daily papers.” . Today less than 20 percent of the country's 1483 papers are independently owned. the rest belong to multi-newspaper chains. Some of them might be a bit surprised next year when the new President pursues policies quite different from those they thought he would. "Once again. In all. “Of the nation's 1. Politics and Public Policy at Harvard's John F. may have continued feeding them. there was a 20 percent increase in people's ability to identify correctly the two candidates’ positions." said Marvin Kalb. Kennedy School of Government found the level of people’s knowledge about candidates’ positions rose and fell based on the degree to which the media was focusing on important issues. A poll conducted months later by the Washington Post on September 6. Those days are gone however. …. for example. "It's pretty clear that millions of Americans will go to the polls on Election Day armed with only scant knowledge of the issues." while 34 percent identified the position accurately and 19 percent misidentified it. 2003 found that 69 percent of Americans thought Hussein was linked to 9/11. Still. public awareness increases when the focus is on the issues.200 — about 80 percent — are owned by the big chains. Who We Elect A major study by the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press.
. and radio as their primary sources of news information.Freepress. a misplaced pleasure at being on the inside. Since 1975. orthodoxy. and an overdeveloped fear of offending someone.R.” . greed. greed.. Two-thirds of America's independent newspapers have been lost since 1975 and according to the Department of Justice's Merger Guidelines every local newspaper market in the U. self-satisfaction....net “Five companies now own the broadcast networks. The same companies that own the nation's most popular newspapers and networks also own over 85 percent of the top 20 Internet news sites. While the Internet has become a valuable new source of information.journalism has been directed to other priorities than “the news we need to know to keep our freedoms. the fact. “For all sorts of reasons. newspaper.. incompetence and laziness.500 daily newspapers remain independently owned. is highly concentrated. that too many papers by far do not wish to offend major advertisers. “It is not apparent to many news consumers.. 4069 introduced to the House of Representatives March 30.. we'll begin with squeamishness..” . Only 281 of the nation's 1. inappropriate desire to belong…for all these reasons and more. journalism has been driven further down the hierarchy of values in the huge conglomerates that dominate what we see. . timidity. read and hear. and control 70 percent of the prime time television market share. there is an awful lot that the press keeps from you.. The study by the American Society of Newspaper Editors found these startling facts: Only 47 percent of journalists surveyed felt their publications were improving. The three largest newspaper publishers control 25 percent of daily newspaper circulation worldwide. for example. but 22 companies now control 70 percent of the country's newspaper circulation and 10 companies own the broadcast stations that reach 85 percent of the United States. as merger has followed merger.. conventional thinking.Bill Moyers Journalists agree that major problems exist.” . 2004 “Sure enough. 90 percent of the top 50 cablenetworks produce three-quarters of all prime time programming.. the vast majority of Americans continue to rely on television..According to bill H. two-thirds of independent newspaper owners and one-third of independent television owners have disappeared. And to feed the profit margins ...S. Only 39 percent felt their newspapers were usually very interesting to read. One-third of America's independent TV stations have vanished since 1975 and there has been a 34 percent decline in the number of radio station owners since the Telecommunications Act of 1996.. A remarkably low 21 percent felt their newspapers were connecting very well with readers.
and the free press is no exception to this general rule. For example. when many Nepalis died of epilepsy.. Break this know nothing pact now and you will have taken as mighty a step as you can as an individual to help see to it that we as a nation move together toward a lively. Assess the claim that an uncensored press is dangerous A famous saying goes. Similarly. For example. former board member of the American Society of Newspaper Editors and Pulitzer Prize Board. much needed changes are made. it has made people aware on various issues and it has brought down totalitarian regimes. it will expose wrongdoings of people in power and make them accountable for the crimes they have committed. by exposing the war crimes committed by Sri Lankan forces during their offensive against the Tamil Tigers. You put all these sins together. the international media has also been able to publicize corruption taking place in the Iraqi administration which compelled the government to enforce strict laws regarding this national issue. the media has also shown its negative side by defaming public figures. By educating the public about various issues. The media’s coverage of discrimination of Dalits and women in rural areas has led many human rights activists to campaign about these serious issues in an effort to change people’s mentality towards women and Dalits. and former Editor of the Des Moines Register. to our national problems currently.” . Dictator Fernando Marcos of Philipines was also ousted from power after media’s revelation of his corrupt administration. When this is done. an uncensored press can be dangerous as well as beneficial depending on various circumstances. Thus. However. the media played an integral role in providing awareness about the disease through radio broadcasts and newspaper publications. confident. former reporter for NY Times. and you come up with a public-press know-nothing pact that makes some sizeable contributions.Speech to Stanford graduates by Geneva Overholser.. the press helps the citizens in keeping abreast with latest news and also acts as a tool for the government to launch various public service campaigns.’ This definately holds true in today’s world. by instigating violence and endangering the justice system when left completely on its own. and there are more. An uncensored press is more an advantage than a danger in democratic societies when it acts as a human rights watchdog and a promoter of discussion.‘ The ability to do great good rarely comes without some power to do harm. hopeful. the media can play an equally important role in disseminating information on drug abuse and HIV/AIDS which still remain grave problems for our nation. lack fire in the belly.Reporters who are incompetent. an uncensored press will benefit the society in various ways. Firstly. the media will promote pluralism and permit citizens to express their discontent regarding the government or any other issue. By publishing a variety of viewpoints. An uncensored press will also promote dialogue and discussion since it allows ideas to flow freely without any restrictions. Firstly. and all-embracing future. I would argue. chosen 1990 Editor of the Year by the Gannett Company. In 2005.. the act of expelling three HIV infected children was given so much public scrutiny that social activists launched campaigns in rural districts stressing that touching or talking . the media fuelled UN’s attempt to bring criminals to justice. Furthermore. lazy. An uncensored press has made a lot of positive impacts in today’s society-it has given rise to pluralism.
the assertion made by local papers in Arizona calling illegal Mexican immigrants ‘undocumented workers’ was not intended to instigate the minority Mexicans. Many countries such as Iran and other Middle East countries deny that Holocaust took place. the level of attention given to such stories far outweighs the importance they have for society. the other firms will attempt to manufacture the same product and sell it at a cheaper price. Moreover.’ When public figures are libelled by the media. when coverage of information relating to poverty. it ought to also be noted that not all forms of hate speech should be censored. they will find their career being shattered by false accusations. in most cases. Furthermore. when a press does not provide authentic information to its citizens. While covering information on epidemics such as the swine flu or bird flu. Firstly. However. it will spoil people’s opinion of them. everyone should have the right to express their opinions without any impediment. the media tend to broadcast information by giving an . When a free press sensationalizes information on calamities such as the outbreak of a virulent disease. Thus. it will not augur well for the entire community since these issues will not be addressed. in a democratic society. they will be scorned by the public and in most cases. By sensationalizing information on their affairs and relationships instead of their contribution to their respective professions. results in murder and genocide. After all. An uncensored press can be disastrous when the so called hate speech provokes anger and violence. to charge somebody with an offense that they are not responsible for is a totally unjustified. it can ruin the life of a celebrity. Furthermore. developed countries like US also allege that global warming is just a farce and suppress news relating to climate change. global warming and hunger are restricted. An uncensored press will also become a threat to corporations since it is more likely to reveal confidential information. The press. hate speech. if given too much of freedom will also tend to give unnecessary attention to the private lives of celebrities. As a result. The horrific genocide that took place in Rwanda in the beginning of last decade resulted from Simon Bikindi’s inflammatory AntiTutsi hate speech which heightened the already volatile tensions between the ethnic groups. For example. an uncensored press is dangerous when it defames public figures and infringes people’s right to privacy. when clandestine information of a product regarding the ingredients and processes of production is leaked through the media. In fact. Apple and other corporations found themselves victims when media published their operational plans and crucial product details. it will trigger false rumors. when the public is not aware of the past mistakes committed like the Holocaust and the Tianamen Square Massacre. However.with each other will not transmit this disease. In fact. By publishing news articles demanding ‘Tutsi’s be exterminated’. Ashley Cole and Tiger Woods have become the latest victims after the media published news articles on their alleged affairs with various women. Coca Cola. Firstly. it will lead to devastating panic. there is a possibility that such mistakes can be repeated again. The news coverage given by an uncensored press during a period of natural disaster will prove to be dangerous and misleading. Such was the case when Richard Jewel was accused of masterminding the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta which turned out to be a false accusation. he encouraged thousands of native Hutu’s to go on a rampage against Tutsi’s. it was just an opinion made by several Native Americans on Mexicans living illegally in their country. it is necessary that a media draws a line between comments that are meant to incite violence and those that seem relatively innocuous. In addition. An uncensored press tends to libel public figures thus violating Article 15 of UNHRD which states that ‘everyone has the right not to be defamed. depriving the public of the truth.
the effect of the cyclone was very less in comparison to the attention given by Medias of the approaching cyclone. free press will also endanger the justice system. causing many of them flee to the coastal areas. the Internet or any other form of media is only as reliable as their authors and editors. then it will lead to a widespread furor. In addition. But having said that. there should be some form of regulation to monitor the publication of information since any libellous statement and any derogatory remark against a particular group of people may spark a retaliatory action from those accused. What information is provided to us through magazines. Similarly. There are also other instances when an uncensored press can be dangerous. In the end. from the ideas expressed above we can conclude that the media should have a high degree of freedom to publish things they wish to publish. many US officials feared that it will give valuable information to Al-Qaeda and help them expand their terrorist base in the United States. newspapers. we can also assert that an uncensored press can be an advantage since it educates the public and strengthens democracy by giving all citizens their right to opine. thus keeping the public wrongly informed.exaggerated picture rather than an accurate one. Does this powerful source help create a truly informed world? My answer would be no. Furthermore. when New York Times published classified ‘Pentagon Papers’. In 1971. warning the public that the effects of the cyclone will be disastrous. Thus. Uncensored press can be a threat when information relating to national security is concerned. These results in some facts being over-emphasized and others distorted before reaching the people of the world. when it endangers the judiciary and when hate speeches are broadcasted. To sum up. when it libels public figures. books. The limelight given to high profile criminal cases can sway the jurors before the legal arguments are even heard. Moreover. It is this group of people who actually decide what information is passed on to the general public. The media’s attention to Kasab’s role in the Mumbai massacre and the public outrage that followed may have prejudiced the jurors against Kasab. the media’s publication of photos showing naked children running away from soldiers and photos of its offensive during the Vietnam War changed American attitudes towards the war as the public appealed for an immediate cessation of violence. To what extent are the modern mass media creating a truly informed world? The need for quick and easy communication coupled with technological advancements and strong government support has seen the mass media evolve into the powerful source of information it currently is. An example of this . the Indian judiciary is facing a lot of pressure and threats from the victims of Bhopal disaster who want the initiators of the disaster to be given a death penalty and not be shown any leniency. fearing that if Kasab is not proven guilty. Media powerhouses in India like Aaj Tak and NDTV are blatant examples of such practices. On the contrary. Therefore the control of the mass media has been largely handed over to this group of people. the media also hyped their reporting on cyclone Aila causing widespread panic among Bangladeshi citizens. we can say that an uncensored press can be dangerous when it invades people’s right to privacy. Any leakage of intelligence information can be costly to the state. As a result of this. This could lead to false information bring passed on. the defendants might lose their right to a fair trial.
the mass media have improved by leaps and bounds to reach many more people with much more valid information. This is currently happening in Malaysia where news channels like CNN are not broadcast live and are delayed for two to three days which are used to censor news which do not agree with Malaysian beliefs. Although the modern mass media have failed to achieve a fully-informed world. have seen limited success in creating a truly informed world. the number of sources available to retrieve that information has made it easier for the population to compare sources and acquire the correct information. newspapers and the Internet which unfortunately do not attract many in the population. The mass media. Therefore it is also important that the public be selective and practice censorship to maximally utilize the ocean of information that the modern mass media currently afford. This situation has to be rectified if more of true information is to be passed on. Although some of the information is untrue. Currently the people working in the mass media see their job as more of a chance to earn money and make a living rather than a way to pass on valuable information to the public. . television shows and radio shows. Although most of the television shows are aimed at achieving this. This results in the general population receiving outdated news and false information. But what about those countries which are still going through the development process? How informed would an African tribe be on the war on Iraq or the SARS problem that many countries suffered? Obviously they will know little about them. This is because the information is not accessible to these groups of people. the information they provide is minimal compared to books. the mass media have to come up with some nectar of their own to make sure its information is utilized in creating a truly informed general population. because it is not possible for a government to exercise control on information accessible from anywhere in the world. A flower achieves its purpose using its nectar to attract the bees. This problem though has been reduced since the arrival of the Internet. then it is possible to say that most of the people have access to the various forms of mass media. The modern mass media would succeed in creating a truly informed world only when anyone who wishes to learn about something. therefore. Although it is important on the part of general public to learn to use the vast information available. So much information without anyone to read it is as good as it not being there. it has to go a long way more to create an informed population in rural areas. Another group of people who prohibit the passing of true information is the government of the various countries. one cannot believe the fact that over the years.would be a newspaper article in the Straits Times which highlighted an author and an editor who had been caught publishing false information in a magazine. The rural population also has to gain access and this can only be possible if the various forms of mass media are prepared to work together with the governments of the developing countries to help change the fortune of those poor people. Although the media is inching towards this by increasing accessibility to the various forms of the mass media. Likewise. beliefs and ideologies is censored off local newspapers. resulting in their being quite well-informed. This is the situation in many parts of world where the wealth of information is not being fully utilized by the people. is able to do it without any problem. Any information that does not tally with the government’s policies. the mass media also have to create that interest in people that will lead them to the information. If we were to concentrate on a highly developed country such as America.
.These changes together with the massive technical advancements in progress would mean that a truly informed world is not very far away.
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