Friday, June 26, 2009

The Original Thriller & The Media

First I would like to start off by saying that although I was not Michael Jackson's biggest fan and I thought he was a little crazy at times (msot of the time) it is sad to see him go. He brought us music during his early life and in his later years he brought us entertainment. Whatever people say about him they cannot deny that he was entertaining.

This brings me to my next point. While I was watching all the various media coverage of Michael Jackson's cardiac arrest and eventual tragic death I began to notice something. Each news channel was presenting the story that was unfolding and seeking the opinion of an 'expert.' While each channel provided a different 'expert,' they were all from various backgrounds and people I had never heard of before. They purported that he had a drug overdose, and began to speculate on every aspect of the story. It made me question how the title of 'expert' can be carelessly attached to anyone by the media in a situation like this. They find someone that they believe will be controversial and believable by the public. So they have them give a spiel about the 'breaking story,' in this case Michael Jackson, and instead of giving informed opinion they seem to just spread gossip.

This made me think of how much power people provide the media with and how much people rely on the media for their supposed 'facts.' Scientists and researchers spend years studying events and situations before they feel confident enough to come to conclusions. In the media, this is done in the matter of seconds and if they are on a slow day, maybe minutes. I think people really need to assess the information that is provided by supposed experts and ask questions.

The other side to this story is that while the media may not always be reliable, and sometimes it presents pure gossip (for instance, like TMZ), it can be very beneficial in situations like that of Iran, where the media is being blocked from covering the event. Through the internet videos and twittering of the Iranian people we are able to find out about the tragedy that is unfolding there.

In conclusion, it is always best to be critical of any source of information. And even though news agencies can sometimes have alterior motives for presenting a piece of information, they are sometimes the best source (if you block out the insignificant parts).