Has news media lost sight of its purpose?
In this CNN news segment, journalists Ana Kasparian and Scottie Nell Hughes participate in a short, yet heated debate over the role news media plays in society and impacts current issues plaguing Americans today. When discussing the mainstream medias awareness of public upset due to current events, Kasparian points out the hypocrisy of cable news broadcasters who cannot report fully about certain issues, such as wealth inequality, due to the fact that they are sponsored by advertisers who want the current political system to remain unchanged.
Hughes later uses the phrase, “if it bleeds, it leads,” meaning that the media portrayal of violence gains higher viewership as opposed to headlines with a less dramatic message. She tries to point out that Americans are actively terrified of terrorist threats both within and outside of the country, and that putting “warm and fuzzy stories” before that would be absurd. However, what Hughes refers to as warm and fuzzy stories are actually important issues which can possibly have a lasting impact on the U.S. economy, as well as other aspects of American society.
In my opinion, journalists should not participate in fear-based media. It will bring viewership to their specific program, but it is also a form of fear-mongering. When mass shootings and bombings occur, the same information is played on a recurring news cycle while other news is disregarded, and not physically reported. While it is important to remain informed when tragedies occur, we must also know about other things happening in the world around us. If all viewers see on the news is recurring speculation about terrorist plots, then they can become overtly paranoid and in some cases, develop an unjustified hatred of entire group of people.
I believe this piece of media should be preserved, not just because it provides insight into the current political state of the United States, but because it points out issues in approaching journalism and mainstream media today. This is especially important to discuss in a media class because it demonstrates how media can be manipulated to fit certain ideas and biases. It also provides many more questions concerning media and the portrayal of political issues.
Pravita Ramratan 1D08