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Friday, November 09, 2007

And In Tonight's News...

(See my previous entry for a brief explanation to this two-part chronicle!)

Part Two - News and Media

Think about the last time you saw, heard or read the news? How much of what was reported was good news that put a smile on your face? My bet is, unless it was the local newspaper you were reading there was very little in the way of happy stories.

I can't claim to know a lot about American news broadcasts, as I have only seen it a handful of times in my life when visiting New York - but the news that I did see really opened my eyes to the way they don't just inform people of the news, but they make them fear the news.

Compared with UK news (which I will talk about in a moment) their style is faster - with headlines issued in dramatic bullet points. If you went by some of their news alone, it almost seems that the USA is constantly under threat by some way - be it terrorists, dangerously faulty products or animal attacks!

But again, I stress that I have only seen a handful of news broadcasts in America, so these could all be isolated occasions - I am happy for people to prove me wrong!

Also, this does not mean I am sitting here saying that the news in the UK is any better - whilst not as edgy and fast-paced as out American counter-parts, it is still made into a dramatic event to watch the news. We are constantly told our homes, health, family, money and country all could be at risk from various elements.

Don't get me wrong - having access to the current events and knowing what is going on is very important, and I am not arguing that at all, what I am talking about is the way the news is presented. One could argue that it needs to be dramatic to get our attentions and make us sit up and notice.

I also put to you the newspapers - once more, I don't know what newspapers outside of the UK but many of the newspapers here sensationalise everything sometimes I often think more time is spent on eye catching headlines then the story and facts itself.

Another point I would like to raise is how can we trust 100% what we are reading, seeing or hearing? In the UK there have been notable scandals in print - what is to stop this happening again? Here are a couple of examples:

In April 1989 at Hillsborough football stadium in Sheffield, England, a tragedy occurred when a human stampede occurred resulting in the death of 96 people (all Liverpool football fans). However, The Sun's report on this event was grossly altered with the addition of shocking facts to, presumably, sell more copies of their publication. This backfired on them terribly, and people in Liverpool to this day hardly buy the paper. For a more detailed account:- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillsborough_disaster#The_Sun_newspaper_controversy

Piers Morgan, former editor of Daily Mirror was fired in 2004 for a scandal that rocked the country and everyone talked about - he authorised the publication of faked photographs of Iraqi prisoners being held and abused by British Army personnel. The Daily Mirror countered that it had fallen victim to a "calculated and malicious hoax" and apologised for their publication.

Of course, all this is my personal view and once again I am not 'slagging off' the news as such, just the way it is presented to us, the general public.

What do you think? How is the news presented where you live? And do you agree or disagree with any of my points?

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