October 19, 2007

Digging for Buried Treasure

"But news accounts, as stated above, should aim for the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth- not the excitement, the whole excitement, and nothing but excitement" (53).

As seen in Chapters 2-4 of It Ain't Necessarily So, the media has put the reader on a treasure hunt. For gold? Riches? The secret to life. No, just the truth behind the news story. But wait, shouldn't that already be there?

Chapter 2 looks at how the media makes something out of seemingly nothing- something I've often noticed when trolling a newspaper or news magazine. Really, it's the reason I can't eat eggs anymore. One day good, the next bad, the next good but only if I chase them with rum, and the next harmful if eaten on days ending in 'y'. The media takes stories and literally runs with them, scaring the reader and making them believe that not only is the end near, but studies show there is nothing that can be done. But, in actuality, it was one study, done years ago, about a problem that does not even exist anymore. Where was the truth in that story? How far do I have to dig to find it?

Chapters 3 and 4 also hit on the idea of the missing truth, mainly in missing information. Statistics are bent to fit the needs of the report or story, and credible information is omitted because there isn't any, but the story is run anyway. So much for fullproof fact checking. Sure, the story might seem more interesting and exciting with a scarier or high-impact message, but without the truth, it's not a news story at all. That's called fiction.


Posted by VanessaKolberg at October 19, 2007 10:05 PM | TrackBack
Comments

Don't you love when you come across a 500 word article on mysterious paw prints in the local baseball field or such "news" as a kite tangled in a tree on private property.
As worthless as these articles may seem, it takes quite the writer to creatively piece together a "nothing" and make it "something."
So as dull as the root of the story was about the pawprints, the writer proved to me that anything can be made newsworthy and exciting.

Posted by: Tiffany Gilbert at October 20, 2007 8:21 PM

Tiff, I never really thought about the art of turning something not necessarily newsworthy into something interesting and exciting. It is amazing that news writers can find angles on stories you wouldn't actually be interested in.

The one thing I keep thinking about though is, seriously how easy it is to misunderstand a statistic that could completely change a story around...it is literally impossible to be sure of the truth all the time.

Posted by: Bethany Merryman at October 21, 2007 2:09 PM

I totally agree with vanessa, the media totally makes the biggest deals out of the smallest thing, but then again if they didn't, what would we have to read about? I mean honestly if reporters didn't over exagerate things, what else would be in the news...I think I just came up with something else to add to my blog...ill prolly have to do that! Good blog!

Posted by: Maria Pezzuti at October 22, 2007 12:43 AM

Vanessa makes a really good point. Who wants to constantly shift through whatever they're reading in a vain attempt to find the truth. It's news! Shouldn't the truth be in there somewhere practically shouting and waving it's hands in the air for attention? By the way, the whole egg thing is great!

Posted by: Maddie Gillespie at October 22, 2007 8:52 AM

the news can be very confusing.
"Osama is believed to be hiding in the moutains of....."
"coffee causes cancer"
"coffee prevents cancer"
-with all these conflicting reports, where is the truth? We don't know where to start looking for it, nore should we have to. The truth should be obvious.

This is news? it seems to me that it is speculation. News is supposed to be based in truth and facts, not theories. Theories become facts when they are proven.

Posted by: DaniellaChoynowski at October 22, 2007 9:58 AM
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