Sure, we know that the media has massive power in this day and age, but how do we get around this? The recent Australian elections were rife with accusations that Rupert Murdoch had a massive influence on the outcome of the election, as he pushed his cause through the front pages of the newspapers. There was a candidate, Clive Palmer, who even said that he would sue Murdoch due to the influence that he had and the negative media that was run. Even today there continues to be pieces in the media that tend to say that Palmer is unbalanced or ‘wacky’, and obvious ploy to discredit him. But we don’t have to listen, do we? The answer to that is no, we don’t, but when, on national TV there is numerous news breaks during any program, or even constant tickers, it means that it is very hard to remain skeptical, as the amount of information becomes massive. That is information NOT evidence.
A good case in point is that of the Falling Man, the article that was never meant to be. The pictures were deemed to be too harsh to show even a few years after September 11 occurred, but recently News.com.au released a news article on them, because apparently, pictures become less harsh after around 12 years. Why was this? Is it the fact that seeing someone suicide would indicate that people may have taken their own lives on that day, and that therefore those ones weren’t the fault of the terrorists, and that they were weak people (as noted some who thought that this may be their family member vehemently rejected the idea, due to the idea that anyone jumping from a burning building was ‘weak’).
On the very next day however, News.com.au released an article on the Syrian crisis, with links to the beheading of a soldier by rebel forces. My feeling on this is that the pictures are being used as a way to prop up sentiment for the need for action in Syria. The pictures would actually go against the case of military action against the government (as it is a government soldier killed), but what it does do is inflame the public’s sense that things are out of control in Syria, that something needs to happen there. Then there are the articles like this, that say that even asking a question will put you in the box with some loonies, and that you are thereby marked ‘stupid’ because you dared to ask a question.
So where do we even find the truth these days, is there anywhere that is reliable? The reality seems that everyone has an opinion, even those that are paid to bring us the news, which means that tend to sell what they think, rather than what they see. Time to end the war on truth.
Is the fact that we now can get news any time we want a positive or a negative, do more dissenting views online mean that we are more skeptical of a media which seems to push it’s own agenda? I certainly hope so.