The critical importance of honest journalism and a free flowing, respectful national conversation
needs to be had in our country. But it is being buried as collateral damage in a war whose battles include
political correctness and ideological orthodoxy.
~ Juan Williams
As a child born in an era before the Internet, I remember it being touted as the thing that would cut across cultural, ideological and socio-political boundaries by virtue of bringing people from distinct geographical, and ideological climes into close interaction. While that has indubitably happened, the Internet still bears the mark of its creators. There exist the rarely-acknowledged recesses of the internet: the dark or deep internet where specific software configurations along with specialized authorization gain one entry into a bevy of illegal activities like illegal drug trading and ethically-disputed pornography to name a few. Furthermore, the ubiquitous access to pornography, attention given to celebrity, and finally the polarizing often time jingoistic, sensationalist coverage of the daily news which aims to excite, instead of encouraging discourse – offers an honest reflection to contrast the thoroughly civilized rational beings we believe ourselves to be. At the same time, there is a growing trend among popular online social media outlets which is cause for major concern.
In short, I give you:
The Top 3 Things Readers will be off put by if They can Think Critically (1)
1. Titles with Surreptitious Conclusions that take away from the story
Could there be a more pertinent example of media effectively advocating sensationalism over honest reporting? Sadly the presentation of fact takes a back seat. To illustrate, the subheading – ‘Don’t send a man to do a woman’s job’ promotes the continued categorization of jobs on the basis of gender. This not only polarizes readers into two camps, (those for and those against this arbitrary division). It becomes another impediment to having a national dialogue concerning the eradication of this frankly antiquated gender-based distinction shown to hinder the progress of women in our society.
Consequently, the comment section is dominated by obstreperous bickering and frivolous name-calling. Which brings us to the second and the more insidious issue. The plight of the Syrian people has become an instrument to further the cause of sensationalistic ideology advancing its own political position over depicting the dignity and the plight of the Syrian people. Sadly, the reader encounters this before reading the article.
Media outlets bear a responsibility for how the public deals with their depiction of Syrians. The years since 9/11 serve as an example of how the demonization of Muslims has harmed innocents American-Muslims and Sikhs currently facing considerable discrimination. The depiction of Syrian men as pusillanimous stymies rather than facilitates assimilation into their newly adopted cultures.
What do you think ? Could this story have reached just as many people withou the clickbait? Do you see anything wrong with this type of journalism? What role of the media plan in the shaping of our reality for better or worse ? I’d love to hear your thoughts
** This is not an attack on Mic.com they have some writing and a wide coverage of the days pertinent news. I took a screen shot of my facebook page where I follow Mic and thought to comment on what struck me as I saw it.