One of my biggest issues that plagues modern society is the large reliance on the media that we all have become accustomed to. On a daily basis the media helps to inform the public of news that ranges from local to international issues. The media helps to link together each corner of our globe and helps connect people around the world within seconds, but with the universal link and connection also came many consequences. To warn this post is not written to create a forum to advocate limiting or restricting free speech and the use of the media. In fact I am not a huge fan of limiting the freedoms of individuals overall. I am simply highlighting some of the issues that are caused by the increases reliance and constant link to media sources.
One major issue that plagues the media is the constant bias that is present within reporting. Many people watch new stations and read articles expecting to learn facts and information on a topic. This information may be accurate but seems to slightly lean towards a certain political belief or values. Many people are unaware of the fact that there is a slight to obvious bias within media sources and many individuals take information found within a news source at face value. People expect many news sources to report information without including bias or a lot of opinion, but the fact is that many news sources and reporters write and produce stories with a slight bias regardless of intentional use of their opinion. Learning true information within our media today usually means either digging to find raw facts or taking many sources and finding your own truths.
A second major issue within the media is of course stereotyping. I think in almost half of my posts I have highlighted some source of stereotyping in society. Media especially television is known to over emphasize stereotypes. Many media professionals state that you have only a few seconds to define a person and to make them seem personable to the audience therefore by reinforcing stereotypes regardless of negative or positive implications plays a role in film. This causes some stigmas and untrue stereotypes to live on within a society regardless of the evolution of culture and society.
One of the last and most influential negative aspect would be the media’s unintentional harm to society. Within the recent years there has been in increase in violent acts such as mass shootings, killing sprees, and fatal actions that end in suicide. These actions are committed but are also accompanied by a plethora of information about the person committing these tragedies. The media have inspired a culture that allows people to become martyrs or infamous for wrongful actions. It gives people attention who only seeks a massive amount of attention. We fixate on why these people committed these crimes and how society should change to understand these individuals. They created a culture where instead of eliminating the problem we fester the wound and spread the germs like wild-fire. We create a society that caters around figuring out the individuals. I know this is not the intention of the media, but has become the unintentional outcome of the coverage of tragic events. As a society we also tune into these reports, make them part of everyday conversation, and re-post or post on social media about these tragic events.
What is the fix to all these situations? There is no clear-cut solution that would not cause a pass mutilation of our individual freedoms, but it helps to simply stay informed and think before catering to the media and automatically becoming an additional person spreading the information gained through media sources. Be vigilant and become active in the information that you choose to read and watch. Always be aware of everything around you including media sources. Even scrutinize my bias towards stereotyping and bias that are written within my pieces. It is a part of nature to always question the truths other people are spreading and telling.