Saturday, July 28, 2007

Brainwashed By The News Media

It's ironic that the two helicopters, from rival news channels, that collided in the US while covering a police car chase is bigger news than the car chase; it’s a prime example of what our news coverage has come to. Apparently there were five helicopters covering the chase. In the coverage I've so far read no one has detailed why the police was chasing the man - chances are it was for some offence that was not that grave. No matter what it was are we that interested in watching cars being driven at high speed? Apparently we are as in Los Angeles; a service exists whereby viewers, in return for a monthly subscription, are paged every time a pursuit is being shown.

Once we started to believe that news is entertainment all hope is lost of getting the type of coverage we want rather than we need. It's no different here in the UK as news programmes have competed to bring us shots of reporters standing in the deepest waters talking to people who have lost the most, suffered at the hands of the flood in the worst way. There's no question that those who have suffered as a result of the floods must have had a horrendous time. Even if your home were not flooded, to be without water for such a protracted period would be frustrating and very difficult. However, the actual number of people that were flooded, compared to the population, is very small yet the news just pile on the agony and make the rest of us feel like we are all living on the edge of the end of the world.

I watched the One Show on BBC 1 this week, which followed the news, that spent most of the show covering the floods. The presenters of the show are not the best and their reporters look and sound like they've just come out of the local collage of knowledge's media studies course. There use of language to describe situations was so inept that it was laughable. Their interview techniques consisted of asking questions to try to elicit answers that they wanted. One lady who basically kept saying it was just something you had to get on with frustrated the reporter greatly as he was more interested in getting her to say she was worried about looters - which clearly she was not.

It's yet more evidence that the news have an agenda to paint a country of darkness and despair when we are largely the opposite as a nation. However, how much longer it will be before we fall foul of their constant brainwashing I'm not sure. There was a study done recently that said people were more optimistic and happy in the early 1950s than they are now. The news media and particularly the TV have an awful lot to answer for.

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