The Moral Decay of the News

Journalists used to be champions of the average citizen; now all they seem to want is to frighten them so they wont turn off their T.V. The news used to be about digging through the corruption and lies to objectively bring the truth out. Now, in an ultimate case of irony they take the truth and embellish it and dilute it with biases. This is unfortunate because people trust the news. They expect the news to provide them with real stories that are not politically skewed to improve the image of a certain politician or political party. W. James Potter outlines a way where the news is sometimes biased on accident, by only giving the partial story. He writes that Even though the journalists are not trying to mislead the audience, people exposed to a partial story are still shown a distorted picture of the occurrence, and therefore cannot be regarded as being objective (p.183). This shows just how much influence the media has and stresses the importance of how careful they must be when presenting a story. But with regards to the source of intentional bias in the news, sometimes even blatant racism can be traced back to the greed of corporate America, both for money and for pushing their own political agendas. Bernard Goldberg was a CBS insider who wrote a book exposing the news media for what it really was, and that book was called Bias. In one part of the book he writes, the news Moguls dont want too many black characters in stories on 48 hours or Dateline or 20/20 [because] white audiences want to see characters who look like they do(p.161). The news media behind the cameras can be a very ugly and corrupt place. Unfortunately for us Americans, the corruption of media does not rest solely on the shoulders of the news channel executives and their anchors; it is as much our fault as it is theirs. People today turn on their television to be entertained, and the news was not keeping up with the increasing number of channels to choose from, which prov ided people with non-stop action, comedy and all kinds of entertainment. It became harder for people to be wowed by boring news, so the news had to step up their game if they wanted to pull in mass audiences all the time. And there is one story that gets all the news channel executives salivating; war.

War, just the sound of the word is exciting. When the United States invaded Iraq and Afghanistan, there was not a person I knew that wasnt glued to their television. The images of bombs slamming into buildings in the middle of the night and tanks blazing over sand dunes played nonstop. Like when most countries go to war the country came together to watch the events unfold. However, this war was not like wars in the past. When one would watch it on the news it seemed almost surreal, like it was just another show on television: There would be ten to fifteen minutes of news, then five minutes of the same commercials found on every other station. It took away from the seriousness and significance of the situation, and it seemed more like a T.V. show for entertainment purposes than an event that needs to be taken extremely seriously. In many ways they news was the primary influencer in invading Iraq. First the politicians used fear to substantiate a need to invade, and the news passed that fear along to the masses, they did not report on the cause for war objectively.

As America becomes more and more media oriented, it is important for the users of the media to be able to analyze the information that they are receiving. Not everything that is spoon-fed to the public by the news is always pure. Power always corrupts and the news networks have a lot of it.

Works Cited Page

Potter, James W. (2008) Media Literacy 4th Ed. Thousand Oaks, CA:

Sage Publications, Inc

Goldberg, Bernard. (2002) Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News. Washington D.C. : Regnery

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