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Beyond partisan politics what drives the media

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posted on May, 28 2006 @ 05:50 AM
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Jeff Edwards a retired U.S naval officer has written an opinion piece that deals with the motives behind the way the media reports events.
 



www.military.com
Don't get me wrong; there are times when I almost want to believe in a political conspiracy of the media. I've deployed to the Middle East many times in peace and in war. I have friends and loved ones over there now, men and women I've served with and trained. The photographs, videos, and memories that they bring home from Iraq bear almost no resemblance to the media's version of the situation over there.

Remember a certain white house intern and the infamous blue dress? Can anyone look back over the national coverage of the Monica Lewinski scandal and seriously claim that President Clinton got off easy?


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


This is a brillant article and I agree with the authors conclusions. When you put aside political spin and partsion delsions and add a bit of logic this is what you get. No matter what political views you hold certain home truths will always hold there weight.

Profits rather then facts will determin how the media spin a story.
Differnt media outlets have differnt political bias.
Fox news is an example of right wing bias in the media Alternative media tend to be outlets for left and right ring biase.
Sometimes there is nothing better then someone that has taken the time to put partison politics aside in favour of logic.

Mod Edit: Fixed spellling in title

[edit on 5/28/06 by FredT]




posted on May, 28 2006 @ 03:47 PM
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Nice piece, the article speaks volumes.



posted on May, 29 2006 @ 01:23 AM
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I did a lot of research related to media bias for my last novel, and that article is on the mark.



posted on May, 29 2006 @ 01:42 AM
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It is an excellent piece of work. People need to read this column and think about how the media does not serve anyone but themselves.

Sadly, the legacy of Edward R. Murrow has been dragged in the mud by today's media. I'm sure if Mr. Murrow was still alive in this day and age, he would be appalled at what is going on. I doubt I could name any reporter that has the same kind of courage or professionalism as he did.

But Helen Thomas, of course, comes close. But she's part of the old school.



posted on May, 29 2006 @ 04:02 AM
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What drives the media?

Good question! It varies.

From a journalists perspective writing stories, it could be: a personal vendetta against someone who's upset one of their freinds, a real unbiased story (very rare these days), a biased story based on an "angle" (most common) etc etc.

From an editors perspective, they same (and more reasons for stories) could be applied as above.

From there up it gets murky. At the top - where a small group of approximately 10 global media players meet - then it's a different ball-game altogether.

One thing I have noticed about the media:

1) A bad story comes out about a drug, milk or anything else
2) The media "plays down" the story
3) There is a "remarkable" increase of advertising from the same group

As an example, a report came out that linked Asthma in children to milk.

The media reported it in a "downplayed" fashion and then, lo and behold - advertisements were placed on all the networks how the "dairy industry" would donate 5 cents to the "Children's Asthma Society" per carton of milk sold.

This is one example.

I also like how the media promote pharmaceuticals quite a bit but at the same time downplay ORIGINAL (not alternative) medical fixes. On our news channel, they even had a "medical section" that normally promotes pharmaceutical drugs.

Another reason:it's also about "sexualizing" people as young as possible so they "respond" to the highly sexual advertisements you see. The more response that a paid advertiser receives from a TV advertisement, the more he advertises and the more the media companies make.

Promotion of fear is also good for the media. People in fear are insecure and insecure people tend to buy more. People who are fearless have no need to purchase material things to make them more secure.

In terms of badness:

1) TV is very bad
2) Newspapers are better
3) Radio is very very good in comparison to TV

So, there's a few "drivers" anyhow


Cheers

JS



posted on May, 29 2006 @ 07:48 AM
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In terms of badness:

1) TV is very bad
2) Newspapers are better
3) Radio is very very good in comparison to TV

It's no doubt that ratings drives the media, which attracts advertisers. Advertisers pay the bills, so no media is going to out and out slam them, unless the advertisers go way out of bounds.

But it brings up the question: why are some media outlets so very much more successful than others?

Take Air America Radio, for example. It was supposed to be the new great voice of the left. But it is barely gasping for breath today.

Look at the top radio personalities. Who are they? Better yet, why are they on top?

It isn't advertising, because advertising follows the consumer. And the consumer is following the successful radio personalities. Why are the consumers tuning in?



posted on May, 29 2006 @ 12:02 PM
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But it brings up the question: why are some media outlets so very much more successful than others?


Because what appeals to the lowest common denominator gets the highest ratings, and sells the most advertising?



It isn't advertising, because advertising follows the consumer. And the consumer is following the successful radio personalities. Why are the consumers tuning in?


Because lame jokes about lesbians and farts (and farting lesbians even) appear to be irrisitably entertaining to that aforementioned lowest common denominator?

I find myself strongly agreeing with many of the article's conclusions. The media prospers economically by maintaining a crisis mentality. Psychos eating orphans sell more papers and get higher ratings than saints feeding orphans. The fact that they're creating an increasingly fearful (and thus inevitably authoritarian) society doesn't even play into their calculations, nor does left/right politics. The calculations are all about profit and loss.

Here's a simple question: after watching your local evening news, do you think violent crime in the US is getting better, or getting worse?

Well everyong knows it's getting worse, right? All these terrible crimes, people throwing kids out of windows, etc etc.. it must be getting worse, right?

Wrong. Violent crime rates in the US have been steadily dropping for thirty years. They hit their peak in the mid 1970's.

There's a fact you wont see on the evening news. Why? Because it doesn't get people watching the news. Spreading fear does.



posted on May, 29 2006 @ 12:27 PM
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When you consider that most news papers and network T.V. stations are funded by advertising, it's not all that far fetched to imagine if they cover things a certain way, their more powerful clients will threaten to pull their adds.



posted on May, 29 2006 @ 02:33 PM
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Originally posted by xmotex



But it brings up the question: why are some media outlets so very much more successful than others?


Because what appeals to the lowest common denominator gets the highest ratings, and sells the most advertising?

Lowest common denominator, or majority of people? And this is wrong, why exactly?



It isn't advertising, because advertising follows the consumer. And the consumer is following the successful radio personalities. Why are the consumers tuning in?


Because lame jokes about lesbians and farts (and farting lesbians even) appear to be irrisitably entertaining to that aforementioned lowest common denominator?

I didn't think we were talking about Howard Stern here.



Psychos eating orphans sell more papers and get higher ratings than saints feeding orphans. The fact that they're creating an increasingly fearful (and thus inevitably authoritarian) society doesn't even play into their calculations, nor does left/right politics.

You definitely listen to different radio than I do.



posted on May, 29 2006 @ 02:43 PM
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no jsobecky, i think he right to a degree. People want to read the stuff that will blow them back the most. A good amount of people want to hear news that interests them and that really makes them think something is going on. If dull news is being reported, who wants to listen, its not exciting enough. People love excitement. Death/near death/violence will bring excitement...the adrenline rush. People like that rush, so whatever is the most exciting, they will turn to.

Pyschologically, thats why people like violence, the danger of it gives an adrenline rush. News isnt about delivering whats happening anymore, its about entertainment and profit. Thats the sad part, it doesnt have to be true, just exciting.



posted on May, 29 2006 @ 02:54 PM
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Well, agreed that there are some people that like to hear that, but not the majority of them.

And I think that the media has manipulated many of us into believing that gore sells better than a well-produced news story. But after the initial rush, the same social and political problems still face us, so how is a story about eating babies supposed to help us in the long run?

Most of the good radio programs that I listen to are issue-oriented. Rarely do I hear a story designed to shock or tittilate.

So I wonder where this type of radio is being broadcast?



posted on May, 29 2006 @ 02:59 PM
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Jsobecky, a personal question is how old are you? Im guessing your on the older side (then again your on this site and may be one of the few who are young and car about whats going on). Growing up in recent times I can assure you that people id say under 30 maybe 25 dont care at all about the issues anymore. I think thats going to continue unlike previous generations where they would mature. My generation has a feeling of hopelessness, and dont care about anything. They are aware of it happening, comprehend it, and could care less. We are growing up in a different age, and news is changing. They are gearing us to slowly but steadily downplay real issues and make us focus on things that dont matter.

Truth is, the people at the top dont want anything to be solved, so just dont broadcast it. A large majority of my generation arent going to bother voting this upcoming president election (2008). They dont care about it in the slightest. This is about 7-8 out of 10 kids i talk to. Things are looking grim, since people my age care less and less, especially since they know exactly whats going on.



posted on May, 29 2006 @ 03:28 PM
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Lowest common denominator, or majority of people? And this is wrong, why exactly?


Wrong? I don't know if it's wrong... it's simply a fact that must be taken into consideration.



I didn't think we were talking about Howard Stern here.


Well, bringing up talk radio, it's hard to ignore Stern and his imitators. They have a huge share of the market.

I realize you're trying to steer the conversation towards the fact that Air America has failed to light the world on fire (a popular Right talking point), but I simply dont care... it seems to me that political talk radio is a format that appeals inherently more to the right, just as entertainment talk radio seems to appeal to those that still derive their joys from lowbrow toilet humour.



You definitely listen to different radio than I do.


I was mainly thinking about the media in general here, and specifically TV news. As for talk radio, for the most part I don't listen to it at all, when I listen to the radio it's mainly for music.



posted on May, 29 2006 @ 03:31 PM
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grimreaper797, I thank you for the belly laugh that I just had over your last post. And I mean that seriously; I'm not poking fun at you.

Some of the things you say are right, some I disagree with. I will take the time to answer them later. Trust me.



posted on May, 29 2006 @ 03:41 PM
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Originally posted by xmotex
Well, bringing up talk radio, it's hard to ignore Stern and his imitators. They have a huge share of the market.

Well, there is no accounting for taste, eh?


I realize you're trying to steer the conversation towards the fact that Air America has failed to light the world on fire (a popular Right talking point), but I simply dont care... it seems to me that political talk radio is a format that appeals inherently more to the right, just as entertainment talk radio seems to appeal to those that still derive their joys from lowbrow toilet humour.

No, I'm not specifically trying to steer it to AAR's lack of success, but to the failure of left-based radio in general. The only reason I brought up AAR is because of it's high visibility when it was launched.

Judging by market share, you are correct that talk radio appeals more to the conservative listener. But again, why is this? What do left-oriented people spend their time listening to?

And, btw, I know plenty of Democrats who are very interested in issues. So it is not a R vs D thing. Many Democrats have some very conservative values. Politics does not automatically translate to values, believe me.


Edit to add:
So the next time you are debating someone over a point, or issue, don't automatically assume they are of the opposite political party. They most likely just have a different value system.


[edit on 29-5-2006 by jsobecky]



posted on May, 29 2006 @ 04:08 PM
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So the next time you are debating someone over a point, or issue, don't automatically assume they are of the opposite political party.


Same here. I doubt I'd qualify as a liberal, at least most liberals don't seem to think so.

If there were a pro civil-liberties, anti-interventionist, anti-gun control, pro tamed market (as opposed to both pure "free" market and socialist), pro getting the government out of defining marriage, pro-space exploration, pro-environment, anti drug war, pro-free public education, anti-nanny state party - well then I suppose I'd be a member of it.

As it is there's no such thing, so I'm stuck as an independent.
And thus can't worry too much about who the "opposite" party might be.

I bitch more about the Right more on here simply because they're the people screwing things up the worst right now. Back during the Clinton years I bitched mainly about the Left. However after six years of Bush, I have to admit I ook back on Clinton with a little nostalgia... yeah he was dishonest as hell and remarkably authoritarian for a so called "liberal", but at least he was marginally competent...


[edit on 5/29/06 by xmotex]



posted on May, 29 2006 @ 04:08 PM
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well jsobecky you would probably think im a left liberal. Who do I listen to...the people around me. Many seem to be definate conservatives, but in person youd think I was one too. Reason being is that I believe theres so many things that shouldnt change, yet I cant help but look around and hate the fact that so many things already have and shouldnt have.

When Im living my regular life, I come off as a definate republican. when I look around at problems I become alot more liberal. I value certain things, but I know my values dont represent everyone elses, so when I talk about issues I cant act like my view is the only one that matters. I cant act like what I see as important is necessarily what is important to everyone. Thats where my liberal side kicks in. Issues cant be dealt with procrastination, but change. If somethings broken, fix it. Alot of things are broken in this nation, and its time to fix it. I dont believe theres any issue with legally owning guns...therefor I dont see any reason to change gun laws. Health care is an issue, so something has got to change.

Point is, your right, people dont always hardline toward left or right just because of what side of that particular issue they are on. People have different values, but the point of politics is to not let those get in the way of dealing with the problems, and what the people want.



posted on May, 29 2006 @ 05:23 PM
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Originally posted by grimreaper797
Jsobecky, a personal question is how old are you?

This first paragraph is what gave me the belly laugh. Let me just say that I have seen the age 30 already.


Growing up in recent times I can assure you that people id say under 30 maybe 25 dont care at all about the issues anymore. I think thats going to continue unlike previous generations where they would mature. My generation has a feeling of hopelessness, and dont care about anything. They are aware of it happening, comprehend it, and could care less. We are growing up in a different age, and news is changing. They are gearing us to slowly but steadily downplay real issues and make us focus on things that dont matter.

To hear this is truly disturbing. To think that young people in our society feel helpless is distressing.

But I could ask this question: what about you and other young people here that argue their points? (I'm assuming you're part of the 25-35 yr old group) That to me is heartening in itself, the fact that many young people come here to speak their mind. So, the generation is not totally lost, is my point. There is usually only one of ten that becomes a leader, anyway.

I have to disagree that the younger generation doesn't care. I think that they suffer from a feeling of disempowerment, that they cannot do anything to affect things. To them, I would say, you may not be able to do much about the bad, so spend your time and energy doing something good. It will bolster your feelings that you can make a difference.

And believe it or not, people do listen to the opinions of youth. They tend to tune out when they meet with an obstinate attitude, however. But if you speak your mind without resorting to ad hominem attacks, people will listen. And even if they disagree, they will seek you out for conversation. Just give them the same respect you yourself expect.

I am using the figurative "you" to mean your generation, not you specifically, btw.

Another factor your generation has to deal with is information overload. You have more sources of input than any other generation in history. What to listen to, what is important? What were the key points on that issue again? I don't envy you.




Truth is, the people at the top dont want anything to be solved, so just dont broadcast it. A large majority of my generation arent going to bother voting this upcoming president election (2008). They dont care about it in the slightest. This is about 7-8 out of 10 kids i talk to. Things are looking grim, since people my age care less and less, especially since they know exactly whats going on.


I like to be optimistic about the desire to solve problems. Our own gov't has grown too big and unwieldy to be able to respond quickly to a social problem, however. But give them a military problem, and they can whip out seven contingency plans.

The entrenched have every interest to maintain the staus quo, true. But even they must give way to the next generation, so don't give up hope.

And I must disagree with this statement:

Things are looking grim, since people my age care less and less, especially since they know exactly whats going on.

Respectfully, they don't know exactly what is going on. They think they do; so did I when I was that age. Let me just say that they are easily influenced, in part because they have so much else on their plate, and so much info overload. They tend to accept a less than thought-out answer.

But that is OK. As I said before, the mere fact that there are so many young voices on ATS is heartening. And most times, they disagree with me. That's fine too, because I would truly worry if they all agreed with me at this stage of their lives.



posted on May, 29 2006 @ 05:56 PM
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its not that they arent being heard, its that they have gotten to the point where they dont have anything to be heard. sadly, more and more of the kids dont seem to care whether they end up dead anymore. I am under 25, but I talk to alot of people over that, because I feel I can learn just as much from them if not more. Sadly though, when I talk to people my age, some of them say, with meaning "i dont care if I die anymore" and "I dont care at all about anything."

Its not even like they are feeling not heard, they really dont care. They look at it like, Ill do whatever, and if it kills me then whatever. They dont have an opinion on anything, they just look at the most horrendous acts and say "so what?". Yesterday after the teacher finished a slide show on the holocaust (all the dead bodies and everything). the kid look at it and said "who cares?". 6 million people died, and the only thing he could think to say was so what.

Its not that they really know whats going on, but they see things and dont even have a reaction to them anymore. They just dont care about anything. I try and try just to get an opinion out of them, even if its one i fully disagree with. But theres nothing, just the feeling of hopelessness and disregard for life.

its the reason I worry so much about politics, because I see them, and realize that everything the government cant get away with now, they will be able to once these kids grow up. None of them have any plans to do anything, they dont care about anything. Not all of them, but alot of them. Im glad to hear any opinion out of the youth now because at least I know they care about something.

The worst thing to watch is when your friend tells you his mother died, and his only reaction is that its just another person dead. Something in our society is causing kids to just look at it and go, so what? even if its the most repulse thing, its like the consciousness in them has died. Like I said not all of them, but now I just find myself happy to find other people that have opinions anymore.

what worries me is when my age group becomes that 25-35 age group. when my age group becomes your age group. thats what im afraid of. because truely, I dont think half of these kids would care if the president got assassinated. they would look at it and say "damn, some one should probably do something about that" then go back to doing whatever they were doing.

[edit on 29-5-2006 by grimreaper797]



posted on May, 31 2006 @ 05:16 AM
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I was told last year by a young man (about 19) that he had no idea what liberals or democrats stood for because he had never been exposed to their viewpoints or opinions. The right wing is correct there is most certianly bias in the media, a conservative bias and how else could it be look at the corportations who own everything now, corportations are famously conservative by nature and they set the tune and the journalists play or pay and the public are the ones that lose.



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