Wednesday, January 23, 2008

My Media Misgivings

I typically avoid the news. The media has become such experts at exploiting negative angles, blowing things out of proportion and promoting their own biases that I just get tense, stressed and enraged when I watch. So for the past 5 years or so I have essentially boy cotted the media taking the approach 'if something important happens, I'll find out' and the stuff that isn't so important won't get through. I've essentially been using my friends, family and co-workers as a media filter.

My only media weakness is Good Morning America - I like Robin and Diane and occasionally will turn the program on. For the past couple of weeks I've been turning on GMA in the hotel room each morning as I get ready for a day at the office. I'm already regretting it.

For the past week they have been obsessing about the 'recession' that is coming upon our country. Today they interviewed a Wall Street specialist and the author of Freakonomics on to help inform us how we can 'recession proof our lives'. The experts were saying 'this isn't that big of a deal' and 'we have a recession every 6 years or so' and GMA kept trying to say, but, but what about this horrible thing and that horrible thing?!? By continually pushing the issue and encouraging people to go into crisis mode, aren't they actually in essence promoting a recession?

This news makes me very sad. I've long since had a crush on Heath Ledger, I even went so far as to purchase A Knight's Tale in support of him. I was shocked this morning to hear that he is gone. Naturally GMA already had a 2 minute montage of his life and career ready to go. It makes me wonder if they already have footage on all public figures ready to go in case of death or emergency...As usual though I find myself getting angry as the media takes any possible negative angle and exploiting the bugepus out of it. The poor guy hasn't been dead for 24 hours and they're already pushing a suicide angle - isn't it possible that it was an accident?

I will say though that I have learned some useful things during my few weeks dabbling in the media. For instance Dr. Jarvik isn't really a doctor even though he says he is in the Lipitor commercials. I personally hate the prescription drug commercials and think they should be banned - maybe this will be an instance that will help eliminate or at least curb those advertisements

I also learned about the Inter Faith Youth Core which is a group of people dedicated to focusing on the commonality of religion and the opinions and experiences that people of various religions have in common vs. the differences in hopes of uniting. I thought that this was a great idea and refreshing break from all of the negativity in the media. However when I went to find the details of the story I had to hunt for 15 minutes to find the details and video clip...

I'm still frustrated with media and will likely still continue to avoid it's exaggerated reporting.

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