What Looking for an Angles means for Social Discussion

Tragedy strikes. It is insufficient this day and age to report just the fact in an unbiased way to allow people to come to a conclusion unassisted. So we search for an angle to better understand and sell the news. News is a commodity if you didn’t know and sensationalism of course sells. This isn’t a new idea, this was first presented in the book Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media. It is called the “propaganda model” views the private media as businesses interested in the sale of a product—readers and audiences—to other businesses (advertisers) rather than that of quality news to the public.

There are five general classes of “filters” that determine the type of news that is presented in news media. These five classes are:

  • Ownership of the medium
  • Medium’s funding sources
  • Sourcing
  • Flak
  • Anti-communism and fear ideology

The size and profit-seeking imperative of dominant media corporations create a bias. Since media outlets are large corporations or part of conglomerates the information presented to the public will be biased with respect to these interests. Funding generated through advertising. There is fierce competition throughout the media to attract advertisers; a newspaper which gets less advertising than its competitors is at a serious disadvantage. The news is “filler” to get privileged readers to see the advertisements. Stories that conflict with their “buying mood”, along with information that presents a picture of the world that collides with advertisers’ interests are not given much attention. The mass media are drawn into a symbiotic relationship with powerful sources of information by economic necessity and reciprocity of interest. Business corporations and trade organizations are also trusted sources of stories considered newsworthy. Editors and journalists who offend these powerful news sources, perhaps by questioning the veracity or bias of the furnished material, can be threatened with the denial of access to their media life-blood – fresh news.

So With That Said

The way the news is fed to the public influences the extent to which we can discuss the events happening in our world. I feel that at no point do we ever discuss whats happening. How many school shootings will there be before we can move forward as a society with changing legislative dealing with gun control? How many times will we blame movies, games and music videos for the violent in our society without talking about the deeper seated issues?

You tell me watcha think


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