From: Scott Chase (email@example.com)
Date: Sat 26 Oct 2002 - 14:39:47 GMT
>From: "Grant Callaghan" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: Re: Bali Bombing Meme
>Date: Sat, 26 Oct 2002 06:57:31 -0700
>>I agree that humans are predisposed towards the macabre and spectacular
>>and that news media exploits this unmercifully. But surely those that like
>>to quote "common good" rationales (politicians et al) should be the first
>>to realise that the media reports are producing an effect of their own
>>which may be far more damaging than the original event. I think we need
>>an awareness level, and a to establish an understanding of the balance
>>between reporting news, and dwelling unnecessarily on the suffering and
>>misery which can only further the objectives of the terrorists. True, the
>>"blame" is with the perpetrators, and maybe we should be spending some
>>time trying to understand what motivates them to do such things and
>>address those issues as well.
>>The brief discussion we have had on this issue has brought me some clarity
>>of thought. Thank you.
>I think you have to keep in mind the fact that newspapers and TV news are
>not in business to do what's good for their readers but to make money by
>doing what boosts sales of their product. Blood, gore and fear sell better
>than Martha Stewart. >
Well Martha Stewart must've been fairly popular. I'm not a big home improvement buff, but I think she had some sort of TV presence and she has a magazine which bears her name. Bob Villa is another in a similar vein. Add to this the populat TV show "Home Improvement" starring Tim Allen. I wonder, head to head, how "Home Improvement" (even as syndicated re-runs) does against the perpetual news networks (PNN's) on cable.
I also wonder how popular cooking shows are versus PNN's. There a network
devoted to culinary delights called the Food Network, which boasts Emeril
and a show I sometimes prefer to PNN's, "The Iron Chef", though it's
possible the later is a veiled plot for Japanese hegemony over the world ;-)
>Stories are written in the face of competition from other news agencies.
>The company that loses readers soon goes out of business and that makes
>having what the public wants when they want it (now) the overriding issue
>when editors sit down to discuss what will go into the newspaper or TV news
>program each day.
>When you look at the number of news media that have gone out of business
>already, it's enough to strike fear into the heart of any editor or
>publisher. There is a Darwinian process taking place that keeps them
>looking for the product that will sell rather than what will benefit
>society as a whole. So the wringing of hands over how the press helps the
>terrorists seems a waste of time. The number of bodies left on the floor
>in the publishing business is just as great as the number left on the floor
>in Bali. The people involved are doing what they think they have to, after
>years of competition to teach them, to hang on to their jobs. That's not
>likely to change no matter how much hand wringing we do.
One of the PNN's I wonder about is FoxNEWS, which more and more seems like the information arm of the Republican party. Shows like Ollie North's "War Stories" lend some credence to your views. FoxNEWS has wrapped itself in the American flag since 9/11 as it often can be seen flapping somewhere on the screen as a graphically generated addendum.
Some of the cable channels like the History Channel, The Learning Channel,
and the Discovery Channel, have had war related programming. Some of these
channels almost deserve the nickname "The War Network" from time to time.
Yet at some level people want to learn about history and technology, even
that of conflict. I think Jane's is one of the gurus behing this sort of
documentation. Conflict exists, so why ignore it?
Broadband? Dial-up? Get reliable MSN Internet Access.
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