Why is news still regarded as ‘Programming?”
…or better yet, why is the content broadcast on the television still regarded as “Programming?”
There seems to be no ‘Right’ or ‘Wrong’ to watch the NEWS, but personally I think there are a few things to keep in mind when watching television news(or reading a newspaper or listening to the radio), so you may emerge with logical/common-sensical information.
- NEWS stands to make a profit, bottom line.
- The written formula of news is very carefully calculated.
- Key words are used to capture and keep your attention.
- Music is added for a sense of dramatic urgency(Television & Radio news).
A few Propaganda Techniques(all part of today’s news media & political campaigns):
- Double Speak (language constructed to disguise it’s meaning)[?Friendly-Fire?]
- Fear (emotional control, most effective)[?Terror?]
- Name-Calling (labeling, discrediting)[?Terrorist?]
- Glittering Generalities (vague terms w/ strong connotations)[?Just Words, Just Speeches?]
- Card Stacking (selective omission of facts)[?A One Sided Perspective?]
- Band-Wagon (one side is more popular, join or be left out)[?Political & Advertising Strategy?]
- The use of ‘surveys & polls’ are evidence of this(not everyone participates, so they are inaccurate to begin with). Same with statistics.
- Pinpointing The Enemy (to over-simplify a complex situation)[?The War on Terror?Al Qaeda?]
- …etc…[More here: Propaganda Techniques]
First off, we are EMOTIONAL beings before we are RATIONAL beings.
This means, scientifically we have proven that when an individual is first confronted with any situation/information, unknown or known, it is first processed through the emotional part of the brain. Only then can we begin the rational/logical process of sifting out the ‘crap’ information and making sense of it all.
From my own experience, I’ve noticed that a large majority of people blindly accept information that they hear on the news to be factual, they then repeat such information to other people.
I rarely have fortune of meeting someone who actively looks under the surface of mainstream news and correlates information from multiple sources.
There are always two sides to each story, yet when I hear a news organization state that, for example, they are “Fair and Balanced” it makes me want to cringe…just because THEY SAY IT doesn’t mean it’s true.
Bottom line…there are just too many things happening all at once to be able to validate everything.
“Think about how stupid the average person is; now realize half of them are dumber than that.”
– George Carlin
Back to the main point…
When I said that most people don’t look deeper into a news story, I was not talking about looking into their favorite celebrity gossip story…that shit seems to be a distraction from the ‘real’ issues at hand.
I’m talking about reading into the issues that make society operate on the current level that it does.
Issues such as economic financing, civil liberties, wars, crime, violence, technology, and education.
Information should be free! And news information should have remained free…of manipulative writing techniques, fluff, political opinion, and products.
Eh…who am I kidding?…pigs can’t fly yet…so there must be no hope of honest information…
Instead, our facts are diluted by personal prejudices, faith, opinions, misinformation, culture, and a bunch of emotional hog-wash.
Having said that, I view the news as a carefully constructed formula that’s been in the making for years and ‘is’ constantly being refined and re-worked.
…Just as a theater ‘is’ meant to sell seats, the news media’s main function seems to be the filling of commercial spots!
You see, the News is NOT news…it is ENTERTAINMENT!
Ask any industry insider and they will say that very same FACT! Knowing this you can then begin to see how biased it is on a number of levels.(if you don’t already)
When you add the carefully calculated formula of manipulative writing, use of certain ‘key’ words, dramatic music, into the thick of it all, it begins to stray from the original main purpose…to inform the people.
I’m certain that if the news media were about being fair and balanced, then they would go the non-profit route.
(We know from experience/history that even non-profits are not entirely trustworthy…*churches*)
I’ve asked many news reporters this question, “Do you think that the average viewer remembers you based on your unbiased, investigative research techniques, or do they remember you because of your face/looks and/or personality?”
Needless to say that all of them had the same answer, their “face & personality.”
Hmmmm….makes you think…(I hope!)
I’m sure that 95% of news anchors & reporters do not ‘report’ the news because they care deeply about the issues of which they speak.
I am almost certain they do it for the pay check…bottom line. A Job is a job!
What’s fun about scaring people to death with non-stop team coverage of world-wide violence, war, & economic turmoil???
So one question I have is, do most viewers even give a “rat’s ass” about where the information they are ‘ingesting’ came from? (I’m sure some of them do…)
At this stage in my life I’m beginning to think that the average ‘American’ mindset is, “O0o0h, they’re on T.V….must be true!…T.V. ‘is’ neutral.”(most sheeple anyways…)
Remember to always question, and except no one thing as fact, because the only person you can trust is yourself!
NOTE: I understand that it is nearly impossible to look at every issue clearly, or with an unbiased approach. I do realize that not everyone has the time, money, or means to travel and investigate for themselves. What I do know, is that we can all help each other see through the ‘DOG’ shit by building up a mental tool box full of useful methods of filtering out all the manipulative/propagandist sludge that pollutes the news media…and life.
Nothing wrong with thinking for yourself, right?
Fair & Balanced…
I’m NOT an advocate of NEWS MEDIA regulation, because I as an individual as well as others have the right to NOT watch, tune in, read, or pay attention.
Hell, I HATE CENSORSHIP and anyone who likes it!!!
What I AM advocating is the education of the individual, young and old, rich or poor, black, white, brown, or blue.
I want people to think for themselves and pull the wool off from over their own eyes.
The only way to do this is through common-sensical education…and we can’t always look to the school system for that!
“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink”
Oh yeah, REMINDER…do not give up your civil liberties for freedom.
They are one in the same silly!