Monday, August 29, 2005


The question posed was what does the media think about violence. And why were they not creative in finding things to report on.

My answer:
Having spent many years as one of the "media" people, I can answer this. The job of the news media is to report the news. News, by definition, is the unusual. Creative writing is best left to the fiction writers. News people do not have to "find" things to report on. They report on what happens - the news - and they don't know what it's going to be until after it happens.

If you want to change how it's run, then stop patronizing the advertisers that support the programs. Trust me, the public has ALL the power and the media has NONE to determine what is on the air in commercial broadcasting. The public simply chooses to not use its power.

It is not the job of the news media to determine WHY we have violence, it's their job to report it.

As for television shows and such - again - if you don't like what you see, stop patronizing the advertisers, and it will disappear faster than you can imagine.

However, the real truth, that no one ever wants to accept, is that the public CRAVES seeing the very things we like to pretend we're horrified by. Otherwise the programs would not exist. Humans like blood and guts and sex and violence. That's why car wrecks back up traffic for miles, why a pretty girl in a skimpy outfit changing a tire does the same thing, why people crane to see inside a lighted ambulance when it goes by to see what they're doing to the patient, and why everytime a fire truck or police car goes by everyone runs out of their house to see what it's about. Humans are really quite base creatures. Why can we not accept this?

"Cops" and other such shows are not on because some media mogul thinks it's cool. They're on because they get great ratings and sell advertising time. It's an incredibly simple formula. I don't know why the public wants to pretend it's someone off in a office somewhere deciding what will be forced down their throats on television every Thursday night. TVs have an "off" switch. Please, use it. Regularly.

I've decided that it's much like parents blaming teachers for everything that's wrong with their child - as if it's the school's job to teach everything from manners to sex education to math and - oh by the way - could you feed my kid at least two meals and build up his self esteem while you've got him those seven hours. And, be sure and teach her how important it is to vote, instill in him some moral values, how to work in a team, and good grief - you've got to teach them computer skills.

Views of the media are kind of similar - like somehow the media is causing the problem of violence by giving people exactly what they want. Nothing is on commercial television for long that isn't being watched. Commercial television is very straightforward - the programming is there only to keep you interested to see the commercials. Your attention is being "rented" and there has never been any confusion about that. It has always been very direct.

What that programming consists of is really immaterial to the person programming, as long as it keeps you watching for the commercials and buying the products advertised. When you don't support the advertisers, the programming will change.

People seem to think it's some committee deciding that THIS is what people are going to watch. When, in reality, people have complete free will to turn off the television, or boycott advertisers and affect change. Instead they sit like drones, only muting the box long enough to complain about what's on it.

No comments: