Not the Real Picture

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In the urgent quest for ratings, newscasters want to hook viewers' minds with topics that will fascinate rather than inform. The bigger the story, the better it is in their eyes. Given the demand for a particular type of story, the networks are willing to portray the news in that way in order to draw more viewers. Let's face it, by generating skewed coverage, networks have influenced viewers with their own biases.
News editors want to indulge viewers by giving them more of what they think the public wants. If there's a story that fits the bill somewhere in the world, reporters are there no matter what it is. While many Americans consider themselves informed about events, is it the news they really care about? Viewers don't realize it but, editors assert a great deal of influence on the news they see.
For example, biased coverage has surfaced in the recent Israel-Hamas conflict. Many news reports have focused on Israel's "slaughter and systematic murder of innocent Arabs'", while the Arabs, despite instigating the violence, have been cast as victims. News reports have not given attention to the fact that the 'slaughter' has been mainly directed in self-defense at militants with few civilian casualties. Very little coverage has been given to the toll on Israeli citizens whose security continues to be shaken by fear of incoming rockets and perhaps worse reprisals. How interesting that Israel's portrayal as aggressor with Hamas as victim has shaped perceptions of this conflict.
So what are people really watching in their living rooms when they see the news? Is it genuine stories of what is going on or a biased representation of what the editors want viewers to see? News reports are someone else's perception of truth. However, even though people don't have a choice about content, they do have a choice about what they will watch. They have the ability to change the channel and that is the real empowerment.





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