Can we trust the Media?

Can we trust the Media?

Nearly every media text we consume today as an audience is controlled by an organisation. This organisation however can deform or control the texts they produce in fit with their ideas, though occasionally these ideas are controversial, illegal or simply not factual. Can we trust the media?

My starting argument begins with, no, we cannot trust the Media. 83% polled [1] stated that no, you cannot trust the media, while 17% said yes. This large divide is not entirely mere opinion- the film Starsuckers  [3] showed how the fabrication of a celebrity’s medical record was widely accepted by newspapers as authentic- despite the information being more gossip than news the newspapers were eager to publish the story. This is clear evidence that to some degree the newspapers cannot be trusted; the newspapers were seeking illegal information (medical records are purely confidential and obtaining them or buying them is an illegal act) that they did not factual evidence on.  This pursuit is not only the result of fake news stories. Some newspapers even “create” stories and state they are factual. One such event occurred in the Starsuckers where a man hired a crowd to ‘protest’ and egg a skimpy-dressed women solely to create a shocking news story. This ensures that the media can exacerbate or create problems. This has been going on from the early 60s- newspapers reported fights between mods and rockers and exacerbated the idea that these youth groups were initiating in large fights near the coast [2]:

“Although Cohen [a socialist] admits that mods and rockers had some fights in the mid-1960s, he argues that they were no different to the evening brawls that occurred between youths throughout the 1950s and early 1960s, both at seaside resorts and after football games. He claims that the UK media turned the mod subculture into a negative symbol of delinquent and deviant status. Newspapers described the mod and rocker clashes as being of “disastrous proportions”, and labelled mods and rockers as “sawdust Caesars”, “vermin” and “louts”. Newspaper editorials fanned the flames of hysteria, such as a Birmingham Post editorial in May 1964, which warned that mods and rockers were “internal enemies” in the UK who would “bring about disintegration of a nation’s character”. The magazine Police Review argued that the mods and rockers’ purported lack of respect for law and order could cause violence to “surge and flame like a forest fire”.”

This shows that the media cannot be trusted as it creates or obtains stories that are not true and further emphasises that the media cannot be trusted when it is not reflectively recounting or obtaining evidence to a story that is reliable or trustworthy- only something that is interesting or creates a ‘shock’ (cough daily mail).

However there are evidence that the media can be trustworthy. BBC news for example attempts to obtain purely factual evidence without bias- it recounts the event that has happened and does not put a twist on it- if any bias is shown it is generalised; a death of a popular figure for example ensures the BBC will be saddened- they will not read it in a happy manner or state “Thank God! s/he’s out of our lives!”

[1] http://www.theguardian.com/media/2009/oct/15/starsuckers-celebrity-surgery-tabloids

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mods_and_rockers

[3] Starsuckers 2009 film by Chris Atkins

3 thoughts on “Can we trust the Media?

  1. Depends on what you classify as “trust”… i don’t doubt that the vast majority of the stories being showcased within various -credible- media sources to be at least accountable however its how we are shown these stories, what stories are shown and which are not, the repetitiveness of certain “types” of stories and also the lack there of with others as well as countless amounts of other highly calculated and structured manipulative methods we are force fed information.

    We buy things because of these tactics, we think things. We judge things according to how certain advertising is presented to us, iv stated before how much i appreciate good advertising on many levels however there is no escaping the subliminal, and conscious programming it does to us as consumers, citizens and humans living amongst each other.

  2. 8/10 – Would recommend
    ‘Barnard has produced yet another exhilarating read. From start to finish, Barnard has been able to maintain the readers’ interest through his expert use of quotations. Yet, his lack of a balance argument leads the reader to wonder; ‘Was Barnard hypocritical and one sided?’

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