October 31, 2005

It Ain't Necessarily So (Ch. 6 & 7)

"Because reporting about hazards 'is ordinarily reporting about events rather than issues, about immediate consequences rather than long-term consideration, about harms rather than risks,' stories seldom offer 'precise information about risks,' even when it is available." (Page 116).

It seems that the media in today's society is doing more bad than good. I believe that there is some good members of the media, who focus on the consequences more than the events of hazards. But it is becoming more and more evident that the media is more or less trying to reveal something, rather than report something. I think that the media is so hard to figure out, because we get our sources from them, and it appears that there is some manipulation coming from that. Honestly, how many members of the media really give a crap about the people's feelings? (Don't give me a statistic, it was a rhetorical question lol). Sometimes, I think that journalists are out for a good story, rather than bringing out the facts that are incredibly crucial for us to know.

Before I took this course, I was not for the media. I thought that they can manipulate our emotions at will, and that they focused on trying to scare us, rather than trying to help us. I still have mixed feelings, because I think that there still are some journalists, media members, and broadcasters that still seem to gain power strictly for scaring us. They purely would rather have a gripping story, rather than focusing on what's important.

I think that is one of the main points that Dr. Jerz is trying to get out. BE FAIR! Don't be bland, but don't make a story just to get readers. Make the important interesting. Sometimes I feel that the media does not do that at all, and apparantly the authors of IANS (It Ain't Necessarily So...duh), feel the same way. Let me know if you feel the same way, because I have really been trying to get this off of my chest.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at October 31, 2005 10:27 AM

Careful, Jay. I think you're letting the one-sidedness of the book get to you, a little. Practically all they give are negative examples that make you distrust journalists -- but note that the authors are using propaganda and selecting lots of examples that support their argument, in order to elicit the kind of response you've given here.

There are plenty of hard-working journalists out there to whom others' feelings really do matter, and there are also plenty of journalists who go to great lengths to show all sides of a story -- all under enormous pressure from deadlines, editors, and public expectations.

Posted by: ChrisU at October 31, 2005 11:42 AM


I know where you are coming from and think there is another issue at play that deserves to be addressed. (Besides the fact that the media tries to quanitify risk rather than qualify risk. To the cautious consumer, it is something that has to be fettered out, per story.)

It is the different forms of media that we are constantly bombarded with, everyday. One can't even use some search engines without being hit by the headlines for the day. There comes a point when too much is too much. It is as though it is a race to get the news to the consumer's face before any other publication has a chance. And in order to retain the consumer, isn't it easier to tease one with a 'hot'-good story, rather than a boring, quality story?

And, as you said, we as reporters need to be fair without being bland, but where do the lines of exciting/fairness blur?


Posted by: Katie Aikins at October 31, 2005 01:07 PM

I agree that there are some hardworking journalists out there Chris, but I think that there are more than a few journalists who are strictly making a story, rather than reporting a story.

I think that there is a line between making a story interesting (it doesn't have to be exciting). The important alone, should make the story interesting, quotes, facts, these are what makes the stories great. Not some reporters spin on it.

Posted by: Jason Pugh at November 2, 2005 10:48 AM
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