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The news media.

Media News Coverage

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#1 Drew

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Posted 21 June 2003 - 01:47 AM

For the last week or so I've been attempting to begin a thread about the news media and whether our perceptions of it have changed. I have been unable to properly frame a question for a jumping-off point, so I'm just going to leave this as wide open as possible: please share your thoughts on the news media.

Okay, then how about a few questions . . .

Has your view of the news media changed? If so, how? And when? Was it recently, or a long time ago?

Has your trust in the news media increased or decreased over time?

Do you generally use radio, television, newspapers, or the internet for news?

Did coverage of the recent conflict in Iraq alter the way you feel about the news media?

Can you conceive of a better model for delivery of the news than what we have now?

How would you fix whatever problems you perceive?

Any recent trends in news reportage that you find encouraging? Discouraging?

Do the various scandals at the New York Times signal a greater problem, or do you view those problems as minor?


Okay, that should be enough to get us started.
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#2 Ogami

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Posted 21 June 2003 - 02:06 AM

Drew asked:

Has your view of the news media changed? If so, how?

Yes, it has. The change has occured due to three events. When I was a child and a teenager, you had three news networks on television. They would get a fax from the Democratic party (Reagan starving the poor), and run with it as the lead news story. Zero chance for conservative rebuttal. No conservative commentators, no conservative voice.

It was the same in the newspapers, in the magazines too. I recall reading a vicious review in Newsweek on Reagan's autobiography. The liberal reporters were foaming at the mouth in outrage that Reagan didn't confess to some sort of crime in Iran-Contra, thereby perjuring himself. They didn't have a single word on his actual book itself. That was my impression of the news media of the eighties. Closed and insular, a liberal paradise where they controlled all thought, and opposing views were not permitted.

Three things have happened to change the news media. One was the success of a radio commentator, Rush Limbaugh. Sidestepping the mainstream monopoly on newspaper, television, and magazine, he created the largest radio audience in existence. Rush became number one not through demogogery or falsehoods, as his critics perennially charge, but because he offered a voice for what half of America wasn't getting from the mainstream media.

The second was the advent of Fox News on cable news channels. Fox rapidly shot to number one in the cable news ratings not because of demogogery or falsehoods (see a pattern here?) but because the biased slant of CNN and the rest couldn't compete with a news channel that gave equal time to conservative views. Liberals may walk around with "Faux News" tshirts, but they simply offer both views rather than a leftist view.

The third was the advent of internet journalists, specifically one like Matt Drudge. His claim to fame started by breaking the Monica Lewinsky story. And this is key, because it highlights how the mainstream press decides what news they want you to see. Newsweek had this story a week before Drudge posted it. They decided to spike it, as Clinton was/is their hero, no bad news about him was going to see print if they could help it. Drudge, a real journalist reporting the facts, broke the story. The mainstream press reluctantly followed suit.

Those three events are what changed the news media into what it is today. And while Peter Jennings and the New York Times are still as biased and anti-conservative as ever, now we have a choice. Freedom's a beautiful thing!

-Ogami

#3 Drew

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Posted 21 June 2003 - 05:19 AM

So for you, the current environment, where there are plenty of options, is much better than the previous environment?
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#4 Ogami

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Posted 21 June 2003 - 05:31 AM

The freedom that cable and the internet have opened up for journalism is vaguely mirrored in Andromeda's syndicated ratings. The internet and cable have opened up both fields, journalism and shows. We have more choices than ever. Choice has opened up what consumers get. The tradeoff is that some are harmed by this. Now Peter Jennings no longer can set policy, he was turned off in droves during the Iraq war. In the ratings, there isn't a guaranteed audience of 75 million for whatever show is on. So Tribune obviously isn't benefitting from so many cable channels.

How's that for synergy, science fiction ratings and the liberal monopoly of the mainstream media have both been dealt death blows by the freedom of choice.

-Ogami

#5 MovieImp

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Posted 21 June 2003 - 05:38 AM

That may be the case but the entertainment divisions  have taken over and and all out cut throat go for the ratings has tainted "news" so much I don't even watch it anymore.  I read the newspapers but only barely believe the basic facts and even those change over the weeks and watch the foreign BBC news.  The all out hurry to be first, get the ratings be damned as masivly hurt the news hounds.  There are no ethics left.
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#6 Enmar

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Posted 04 July 2003 - 11:01 AM

This one ROCKS! :D

Right or wrong, we're journalists

Quote

We are worried, here in the newspaper business (motto: ``What, YOU never make misstakes?''). We're hearing that you readers have lost your faith in us. Polls show that, in terms of public trust, the news media now rank lower than used-car salespeople, kidnappers, tapeworms, Hitler and airline flight announcements. (We are still slightly ahead of lawyers.)

Of course, these poll results were reported by the news media, so they could be wrong. In fact, there might not actually have been any polls; it's possible that some reporter made the whole ''media credibility'' story up.

Feminism is the radical notion that women are human beings.

#7 Norville

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Posted 04 July 2003 - 02:48 PM

The "news media" hasn't been interested in serious, responsible journalism in a very long time. There are still some exceptions. However, most of it is for entertainment, just part of the entertainment industry. If it bleeds, it leads.

Unlike some here, I have no interest in labeling it all a liberal problem. (Liberal = evil. Time to find another buzzword to totally exhaust beyond all reason.)

I'm not sure we can change it, really, because we need to change our entire society before we get anything intelligent and responsible again. We're so eager to dumb ourselves down and never think -- is it only liberals responsible for that? I don't think so.

I can find some decent radio reportage. I can't say I necessarily trust it any more than any other source, but it's fun to listen to it.

As for war reporting... some of it was probably good, but that was definitely a war done as entertainment. Look at the cool weapons! We're so tough! Lovely...
"The dew has fallen with a particularly sickening thud this morning."
- Marvin the Paranoid Android, "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy"

Rules for Surviving an Autocracy
Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
- Masha Gessen
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#8 Rhea

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Posted 04 July 2003 - 03:09 PM

The news media has been a joke for a long time.

I prefer print and Internet myself. I prefer to glean what facts I can from the print media rather than listen to the same old rehashed news on TV.
The future is better than the past. Despite the crepehangers, romanticists, and anti-intellectuals, the world steadily grows better because the human mind, applying itself to environment, makes it better. With hands...with tools...with horse sense and science and engineering.
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When I don’t understand, I have an unbearable itch to know why. - RAH


Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH



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