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Old 11-09-2010, 02:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Was it the media or was it us?

Kind of a 'chicken or the egg' type question.

We're all familiar with the sensationalism that drives modern media and the lack of any substantial or meaningful reporting. Case in point, They found water on the moon. What???? To me, that is one of the most significant discoveries of the modern age. If moons and planets with no atmosphere can hold water, we're only a couple steps away from real space travel. Yet in 4 hours of news a day, I haven't seen more than a 30 second blurb about it. Discovery News reported this March 19, 2010. ABC decided it was worth mention on October, 21 2010. I guess it's hard to squeeze real news in when your busy reporting on celebrity boob jobs and politicians indiscretions.

So, my question is, who did what to whom? Did society drive the trend toward tabloid news? Or has the media just decided that pointless nonsense is what we want, so that's what we get?

The supply vs demand side of the argument would suggest it's our fault as a society. We demand it, so they print it and the truth is in the numbers.

My point of view is, if it's all garbage, then of course I'm going to by the most sensational garbage, who wants everyday garbage?

What do you think? Did we bring it upon ourselves or is it just lazy journalism?
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Old 11-09-2010, 03:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If marketing has done anything, it has shined a very uncomfortable light on what it is that people are really interested in. While people like to think that we have varied and intelligent interests and have no need for shallow and childish dramas, the truth is that the #1 show on television is mainly a side-show of people who think they can sing but can't. I regularly bemoan SyFy's ghost shows, but the fact is they gain substantial ratings. 24 news is more popular when it reinforces our beliefs and appeals to our emotions. We get the media we want, whether we think we want it or not.

'cept for Firefly being cancelled. That was just a travesty.
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Old 11-09-2010, 03:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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op cit?
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Old 11-09-2010, 03:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Well obviously a business is going to cater to what its clients want. I doubt news agencies would be feeding us all this garbage if data showed that it turned off the majority of viewers and led them to other news outlets so I'd have to say its society's fault.

Whats going to draw more viewers for a longer period of time? A dry, boring report on the elections in Burma (What the hell is a Burma?) or a salacious story about out of control celebutants or rich spoiled politicians doing sleazy, outrageous things that allows viewers the luxury of both living vicariously and feeling self righteous at the same time? The major news outlets have the resources and talent to do a fine job covering the former but our culture dictates that they cater to the latter.

EDIT: Holy shit! They found water on the Moon??? How is that not a MAJOR news story?
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Old 11-09-2010, 03:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Burma - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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"We were wrong, terribly wrong. (We) should not have tried to fight a guerrilla war with conventional military tactics against a foe willing to absorb enormous casualties...in a country lacking the fundamental political stability necessary to conduct effective military and pacification operations. It could not be done and it was not done."
- Robert S. McNamara
-----------------------------------------
"We will take our napalm and flame throwers out of the land that scarcely knows the use of matches...
We will leave you your small joys and smaller troubles."
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Old 11-09-2010, 03:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Ha ha, Thanks Phil
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Old 11-09-2010, 05:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It is a combination of the two. The news media is a business. They are in business to chase advertisers. Advertisers want the greatest number of eyeballs watching their ads. As measurements of audience interests have gotten better and better at determining what works best to not only get those eyeballs but to also maintain them, what works is what works.

What works... what has always worked... is salacious news. "If it bleeds, it leads" is an old newspaper adage and it is as true today as it was in the past. The more sensation the better.

While there has always been a push to present this sort of content, there has also been a counter balance to present information that informs and serves, "the public good". I would suggest that this counter balance is out of whack. The race to ratings, combined with a big helping of monkey see monkey do has led the media in a race to the bottom. Those who fight against it are deemed, "out of touch" or "old school". They either adapt or find themselves out of a job.

In addition to all of this is the push to simplify. Headline News rather than the full story. The endlessly repeated sound bite rather than investigative reporting. Simple, short and easy to consume exacerbates the situation described above. There is little room for nuance in a headline.

I don't see any end to this and only expect it to get worse.
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Old 11-09-2010, 05:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I don't have any solid evidence, but it seems to me that the increase in dumbed down, lowest common denominator, craptastic nonsense started rising with the popularity of the internet and a gazillion cable channels.
You don't have 3 dedicated television stations broadcasting the news anymore. Too much competition has watered down the content. If they can't capture your attention in 30 seconds or less, you are off to another site or channel.
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Pretty much everything needs to be broken down into efficient, quick soundbites these days if you want anybodies attention. Look at our elections for god sakes, if you can't sum up your whole platform with a catch phrase you've pretty much lost a good chunk of the voting populace before you ever get started. That mentality has spilled over into our daily lives and people expect news stories to be quick, entertaining and witty or they're going to move onto something else.

Its funny, recently on youtube I watched the Walter Cronkite news broadcast from the day JFK was assassinated, it was essentially a breaking news story that went on for about 2 hours. Anyway 90% of the broadcast was Walter Cronkite fidgeting behind a desk and reading updates from a sheet of paper, could anybody imagine that in this day an age? No kick ass graphics and music, no quick jumps between correspondents, round table discussions and witty slogans to attach to the story, just a man at a desk relaying horrible news in the most mundane and boring way possible. How times have changed.
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Old 11-10-2010, 07:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle phil View Post
op cit?
cit? ?? Sry cptr srthnd illtrt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wes Mantooth View Post

EDIT: Holy shit! They found water on the Moon??? How is that not a MAJOR news story?
Yeah, not just a little either, a freakin' shitload! Get's by me how it's not a major story. I guess it's just not as interesting as Paris Hilton's Vaginoplasty or the current fad of Vajazzling. Well okay, Vajazzeling is Cuntastic.


...........


Well, I guess I was hoping for a little more intellect from the American Public. But it does always seem to come down to money and the lowest common denominator, doesn't it.

It's probably not worth asking how a society can evolve and move forward when it has to cater to the least evolved among us.
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Old 11-10-2010, 08:09 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogueGypsy View Post


Well okay, Vajazzeling is Cuntastic.

HAHA! Cuntastic!!

Last edited by LaLa1; 11-10-2010 at 08:32 PM..
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