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Where Have The Simple Days Of Politically Informative Media Gone?

1420 words - 6 pages

The year is 1690. Richard Pierce and Benjamin Harris have recently published the first form of media in America, a newspaper titled: Publick Occurrences, both Foreign and Domestick. The newspaper was originally located Cambridge, England, but relocated to Boston, Massachusetts because Roman Catholics and Quakers considered some of the published material controversial. The writers intend to publish an issue once a month, unless any monumental event ensues sooner. However, the project does not play out as effortlessly as the writers hoped. Without proper authorization, colonial government officials suppressed the project, arrested the publishers, and destroyed all copies of the newspaper because they deemed the news too high of a nature for the people to read.
The Public Occurences was the first ingenuous attempt to report news to the public. This informed people on current issues, enabling them to form their own opinions about politics. Since 1690, the media’s approach to reporting news stories has shifted. Instead of offering people the truth, forms of media like television often distort political affairs to align with their own political agendas. With the shift in the media’s tactics of tackling current events, the public’s perception of the media has transformed. Back in 1690, any form of media was a blessing because it kept the public cognizant. Today, people take for granted a constant flow of information because it is so readily available. Overall, the incessant and pessimistic stream of modern political media evokes a loss of public interest, oversimplifies complex issues in current events, and forces political figures to focus on their images instead of their policies.
The media often takes a pessimistic approach on political issues, which fosters the public’s disengagement from the issues themselves. This enables the media to manipulate the public’s reaction to particular issues. Ultimately, enduring “years of hyper familiarity” with the media’s “archly cynical worldview,” causes citizens to turn away from politics (Hart). This contempt for politics has become common across all age groups. The media’s dull and demeaning portrayal of politics leaves its audiences uninterested. Consequently, Americans are less likely to vote and be attentive to the news. For example, if Congress creates a new corporate income tax law, the media may disapprove and overwhelm Americans with their qualms, driving Americans focus away form the tax reform entirely. People will loath hearing the same pessimistic opinions about tax policies recurrently, so they will avoid the now tedious and dreary topic. This illustrates television’s profound impact: the way the media selects and presents news stories possesses the power to shape what and how people think. As such, it is the most important factor in selecting the material to be deemed ‘newsworthy,’ to create or create “sensation, conflict, mystery, celebrity, deviance, tragedy, and proximity"(Oswald 393). If the...

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