So for the first time in years I watched the simpsons and family guy on fox after a long day of watching football (G-MEN!) and doing a lot of eating and lounging. For some reason I didn't jump up to turn the tv off before "Fox News" came on at 10. Now, whenever I watch the local news with another human being someone eventually says, "man, don't they have anything POSITIVE to tell us?"
This is a quick recap of the news stories that were presented in the first 15 minutes of Fox News at 10.
-One guy commiting suicide by jumping head first from a third story building
-A woman caught in cross fire and being shot in the eye in Irvington, NJ on her way home from church
-A man breaking a bottle and stabbing another man in Brooklyn
-A shooting supposedly occurring during a drug deal
-A biker died while crossing the brooklyn bridge after he was forced off the upper level of the bridge and fell to the lower level
-MTA trains held up at penn station for 2 hours today
-Broadway stage hands on strike
-A fire that damaged a church, BUT the congregation and church leaders are positive it will be rebuilt soon!!!
-Muggings are on the rise in the city and which neighborhoods in the city you are most likely to get mugged in
-New "killer cold" adenovirus takes 10 lives including a female military officer
-A teenage girl viciously attacked by another girl in an amateur video from Texas
My dad finally grabbed the remote and muttered "enough of this crap" and changed the channel. Thanks.
There are terrible things that happen in the world everyday but there are incredible, beautiful things as well. The extent to which the media has the power to influence thinking and the perspectives of its audience is really frightening. When a news channel or program consistently broadcasts nothing but overwhelmingly negative stories, its viewers might begin to believe in this picture that they are being force fed. The Fox News corporation has been criticized for presenting a strongly biased point of view and promoting a conservative, right-wing agenda that is far from its "Fair and Balanced" motto.
I came away from watching these 15 minutes considering the fact that the world is a cold, dangerous place where anyone could get shot or stabbed or mugged at anytime. What would be the benefit of emphasizing these types of stories? To scare viewers? To warn them? Or maybe there just aren't enough 'good' stories out there that are interesting? In a perfect world, the media would be obligated to simply present the facts with as little editorializing as possible. People should be allowed to come to their own conclusions without being influenced by a hidden (or partially hidden) agenda.
It is important for any news media outlet to inform its audience of the most important issues that occur. But who should be allowed to decide what should be shown or not shown? How would a purely objective news outlet work?
I just hope that this news broadcast is not an accurate portrayal of the only local news stories in the world around me. I'd like to think that there is still some good in the world, or in the greater NYC area.