LING200, Sec 2
September 14, 2012
The Transition of Media in Recent Times
A gradual change seems to be taking place in the media industry. News that captures the world’s attention now bears less meaning among some of the U.S. news media. Of interest, is to give local news more airtime and international coverage a slight push backstage. Foreign news has evolved into a corner subject especially any that does not directly affect the American citizens. Without holding the viewer’s attention to any distant nation, any foreign event that would bear coverage becomes exceptionally difficult to cover. This is even worse during a seemingly peaceful time when a greater shift to local news is made.
Back in 1991, the proportion of network exposure to foreign affairs shown by ABC, NBC and CBS clocked at 51 percent, half of it revolving around the Persian Gulf War. Six years later, it dropped to 20 percent and poised at that level until September 11 as per the Center for Media and Public Affairs (Ginsberg, 2002). The difference in the statistics indicates the rate at which media stations in the U.S are limiting their coverage to local incidents. Furthermore, it is also correct to assert that the news media has decreased its coverage of international events in contrast to its coverage of local news. According to Associated Press, (n.d.), the Tyndall Report stated that diplomatic and international news reduced by more than half in a period of ten years from 1990.
However, this change was only different after the September 11 attacks. Magazines, newspapers and U.S. networks literally tussled to propel their journalists overseas. A rush to find out why the bombing happened took place within the blink of an eye. Earlier coverage possibly would not have made any tangible difference, but it could have served as an alert. The costs would have been significantly cut had the nation constantly covered the foreign happenings before the catastrophe struck. Well does that mean that local news is better to report than any global happening? That seems to be the case with regard to Fox news, as Media Research Center found out.
In 2006, bomb explosions led to the murder of an estimated 34000 civilians at a university in Iraq (Bauder, 2007). CNN and MSNBC spent quite some time reporting about it. On that day, Fox News Channel did not mention anything related to it. Previously, MSNBC used up twice as much time as Fox did on the war in Iraq. Daytime news showed a greater difference as compared to opinion shows. Democratic presidential aspirants cared little to show up at debates promoted by Fox. A debate is thus generated as to whether ideology prompts news agendas. Repeated attempts to gather any executive’s views on the war coverage did not bear any fruit. It was not by mere coincidence that they just failed to report about the war.
On the other hand, a balance has been reached pertaining to the war coverage. It would appear that Fox aired stories about achievements in Iraq than any other station. As compared to CNN and MSNBC, Tim Graham would say that what amounted to tragic events received better treatment. Consequently, it appears that a portion of the public opposes the idea of bad news. That is where Fox news gets a higher opinion. A business interested in generating less pessimistic news about Iraq. A Republican dominated news agency would demand a reduced quantity of combat affairs out of disgust for the war. Whether it tears away on the credibility of journalists, this would be regarded as a trivial issue.
Covering war leads to an emotional fortitude, uses many resources and requires a huge portion of luck. Even still, peace is much harder to cover as it does not motivate the ears of the listeners nor does it steer headlines for long. Instead, alternatives have to be made to solve such a dilemma. According to Ginsberg (2002), attracting the attention of Americans to foreign events that do not have an adverse effect on them is completely difficult. In his article, Rediscovering the World, Ginsberg shortly narrates a story highlighting the riot over the beating of Rodney King in comparison with the Afghanistan situation. He compares the attention that was directed to the riot in California instead of the situation in Afghanistan. Thus, it is evident that the news media comprising the newspapers and channels were much involved in covering a local story that had no determinant effect on the country. A relentless pursuit for the truth on the world scene handed many media houses burdens to bear without returns. Foreign stories would get more attention in countries outside the United States than within the country.
The face of news coverage in the present times is changing, especially in terms of coverage, which directly has an impact in the society. By sifting the news to suit or rather, blind the Americans into the false notion that their country is peaceful; the news media is creating a massive facade of falsehood emphasized by a false sense of security. Indeed, it is candid to surmise that terrorist attacks such as the September 11 attacks could have been forecasted if the news media had covered the peculiar foreign events, especially those transcendent of the Middle East to uncover possible and potential plans to attack the country. With the change in the dissemination of information, it is much simpler to transmit every sort of information to the American society whether foreign or local in order to ensure an informed and well-prepared people.
The paper focuses on the change of the media specifically in the coverage of news. Some grammatical errors were fixed, some sections that did not conform to the theme of the paper were eliminated, in-text citations and the references were attuned and the conclusion was adjusted.
Associated Press, & Rogers, J. (n.d.). We ignored Paris and US Weekly blacks out Hilton coverage. (P.639, 641)
Bauder, D. (2007).War takes up less time on Fox News. USA Today. P. (636,637)
Ginsberg, T. (January/ February 2002). Rediscovering the World. American Journalism Review. P. (643-648)