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All this thinking has gone to our heads
Wed 25th Jul '07 11:06PM
366 Posts
Jog_Eerie's Avatar
Member Since
15th Apr '03
I'm afraid this is the result when I go away for a few days holiday! I think about work!

I've been worrying a lot of late about how many things go unreported or are skewed in the media.

Much of this is down to the time constraints and staffing levels of most modern news organisations. But my experiences of late have led me to conclude that it's also down to the fact that those reporting events are not trained to question the "grand myths" that are peddled in our society - and I include myself in this.

I now believe that the result is that those in power enjoy a media that - with a few exceptions - is unable to rigourously test logic or question decision making. It is a media too emotive and too reactive to events and is not comtemplative of how these fit into a wider historcial or social context.

The more I think about it, the more holes in our understanding I'm starting to see and realising how rarely they are tackled by the media. This worries me.

I thought I'd list a few of the things I've spotted and see if other forummers agree/disagree or have picked up on anything else the media is doing a rather poor job of investigating. After all, idealistically, journalism is supposed to be the watchdog of the people.

So here goes:
* The constant political assurance that Britain can continue economic growth indefinitely? How can this be when the resources that we base this growth upon are limited?

* The underlying assumptions that make it possible to criticise David Cameron for remaining in Rwanda to discuss poverty and aid when his constiuents have lost their property in floods.

* That road traffic accidents needlessly kill as many people every year in the UK as were killed in 9/11 and that RTAs are the only deaths of public concern that do not have a jury at inquest (a jury is normally sworn in when the nature of the death poses a threat to public safety).

Misses his big brother :(
Thu 2nd Aug '07 12:58PM
4597 Posts
Spanners's Avatar
Member Since
7th Apr '03
Good call Jog!
I'd agree with the ones you said although I would be interested to hear what you think the underlying assumptions for criticising David Cameron are.
Personally I think the BBC in particular are guilty of overly taking care of their own. Given the limited investigation into the phone-in scandals and the excessive coverage of Alan Johnson. I think Alan definitely deserved lots of screen time but the Beeb went a bit over the top given other major news that was going on at the time.

Windows Bob - the best!
Thu 2nd Aug '07 2:34PM
4213 Posts
General's Avatar
Member Since
7th Apr '03
There are a few things which never seem be questioned in the media:

The slippery slope - Any trend will continue until the point where it becomes ridiculous and or dangerous.

The Scape Goat - When something goes wrong it must be exactly one senior persons fault who must step down immediately even if that would result in the company being without leadership in a time of crisis which leads to

The resignation call - Anyone can call for anyone elses resignation. Especially members of opposing political parties or members of the public who feel annoyed about something. The person in question not immediately jacking his job in is somehow news worthy with a nice jucy headline like "X REFUSES TO STEP DOWN IN THE FACE OF CRITICISM"

Princess Diana - Was some kind of saint who everyone in the nation loves with equal fervour. She devoted her life to healing the sick and petting kittens. This is especially bizarre as many papers ran stories slagging her off on the day she died. Some couldn't retract the stories in time others had pages that were just big black squares where they had written over it.

Identity theft is mostly done by evil people taking control of your PC with sophisticated hacking when it truth it is mostly people going through your bins or phoning you up and pretending to be from the bank.

Computer games are exclusively played by children and are without artistic merit. If a game contains adult themes it should be banned. If children play these games it is the fault of the publisher not of the parents for letting a child play an 18 certificate game.

There are a team of people in Brussels who exist only to dream up new and stupid kinds of bureaucracy to make our lives harder.

People have a thing called "Common Sense" which means that all health and safety legislation is a waste of time. However if anyone has any kind of accident for any reason it is someone elses fault and they should be allowed to sue.

The England football team is blessed with players of infinite skill who can win any game the only set back being incompetent managers.

Anyone in public office who has to travel anywhere abroad is on a jolly at the tax payers expense. Business travel is somehow fun and not a spirit crushing grind.

Giggity Giggity goo
Sun 5th Aug '07 2:38AM
2708 Posts
Amanshu's Avatar
Member Since
25th Aug '04

General was bold enough to comment:
People have a thing called "Common Sense" which means that all health and safety legislation is a waste of time. However if anyone has any kind of accident for any reason it is someone elses fault and they should be allowed to sue.

The truest thing I know:
The most common commodity in the universe is common sense. Everyone thinks they have enough.

However, to stick to the point:

I believe you yourself Jog have pointed out that journalism sells based upon what people want to hear. The more a paper sells based upon X the more that X will appear in a paper. Madeleine was a classic example, as was Princess Di, as is David Cameron being in Rwanda.

My point is that we don't pay papers to throw up our native assumptions. In fact quite the opposite I think, we pay them to ensure that our assumptions are correct. As much as we might say, as General so aptly points out, that Princess Di was not an amazing woman that fact is that people watch and read about her still. So papers (and tv) will continue to write about her. Madeleine dropped off the radar until very recently because people when there was a breakthrough in her case, because people no longer wanted to hear about it.

The more that people like yourself are in the media and questioning things like this the more that we will get a more balanced story. One that will question base assumptions. I imagine that there are a number of commentaries out there about the fact that David Cameron was right to continue as he has. I just can't find any right now...

Ok, maybe that is just bad. After all the guy has done a lot for the Conservatives (and let's be honest the last thing they need is ANOTHER new leader). However I think my point still stands. The more journalists are willing to say "wait a second" the better papers will become. Hell I might even start paying attention to more than the crossword...

Windows Bob - the best!
Wed 8th Aug '07 9:48PM
4213 Posts
General's Avatar
Member Since
7th Apr '03

Here's another one.

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