The Media: Creating Controversy to Make a Quick Buck
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Controversy is a lengthy public disagreement or debate over many conflicting opinions. In the media there is no shortage of controversy. It seems that all controversy are over the following topics, politics, religion, sex, economics, finances, culture and race (P. Ferreira, 2013). I would not say controversy is needed in American or even the world. However America and even the entire world were built on controversy (Davenport, 2012). Since we all do not share the same opinions in every aspect or major topics in the world, because of this controversy is created sometimes voluntary and involuntary. What the media does is bring all opinions from within America and around the world to a large group of people, which in turns creates controversy out in the open to the public.
Controversy is need in the world, because without it we would not know or learn all other aspects to a specific topic. For example, the crime in America is higher than other countries in the world. Some people would say that it is due to the exorbitant gun-ownership in America (Davenport, 2012). However other people’s opinions say it is not guns that kill people it is people that kill people, and other say it is the people that locate guns illegally that commit most of the killing in America.
What is the truth is there a right answer to a topic like this? Here is where the media comes in. The media tells all sides of the story giving views a change to make their own opinion or conclusion to topics. I will not say that the media gives all sides of the story at once so people can make a clear choice, but they do give all side to the story eventually. This is why the media is so good of creating more controversy (Davenport, 2012). More controversy more views, more views more advertising and it goes on and on. But this all rolls up in to one unlikeable answer MONEY. Money controls the world just like controversy keeps people talking and that is needed. So to come back to the question is why is controversy used in the media, is it necessary and is controversy need in the media? To all these questions the answer is yes and no. Yes, controversy is needed because controversy opens up people’s minds (positively) to what they have never thought of and the answer is no because it can open people’s minds up to negativity they never fathomed. See even my answer is controversial. That is just the way the world works.
Should controversial content be removed from the media and would removing controversy content make a difference in any way to the audience. With these two questions I could not find anything online. However in my open controversy should not be removed from the media and even if we wanted to remove it, they is no way our society would allow it. The concept of news is to report what is going on in the world with an unbiased view on everything the news reports (Vivian, 2011, pp. 216-217). What these journalists do is tell the public what they want to hear and that alone is controversial in itself. When journalists report “their” news it is a form of ethnocentrism (Vivian, 2011, p. 220). The news displays this method in many ways; an example of two ways the media controversy is that they report news through for main stream America (social norms and beliefs of America). Secondly they report the news only through American eyes. For example when the news reports about the Middle East and how we should help them change their government to more of a Western government. This is an example of journalists displaying ethnocentrism. The news/journalist not only gives us their unbiased opinions on world news they also display it her on American soil, for example the Travon Martin murder in Florida.
Travon Martians undeserved murder in Florida turned into major controversial news. Travon Martians death was headline news for months in the papers, on television and online. Here is a little back ground on the story. Trayvon Martian was murdered in public in his own neighborhood in February 2012. Trayvon was walking from 7-Elleven convince story. Trayvon was on his way to his father’s house, which he was living with at the time. As he walked home he did not know he was being watched by a neighborhood watchman named George Zimmerman. While he was watching Trayvon George called 911 and stated the following; "This guy looks like he's up to no good or he's on drugs or something... "It's raining, and he's just walking around looking about." The man tried to explain where he was. "Now he's coming towards me. He's got his hand in his waistband. And he's a black male...Something's wrong with him. Yup, he's coming to check me out. He's got something in his hands. I don't know what his deal is...These assholes, they always get away (Weinstein, 03)." George Zimmerman confronted Trayvon Martian, and a scuffle broke out. In the end Zimmerman shot and killed 17 year old Trayvon Martian (Libaray, 02). This was just one version of many articles I have found and for some reason all the articles found on Trayvon Martians death and George Zimmerman trail are somewhat different and have a unconnected spin on each both Martian and Zimmerman.
It is amazing how their can be so many different stories one actual event. The murder of Trayvon Martian was not different. First article discusses how Trayvon Martian was a “…an unarmed 17-year-old African American student—was confronted, shot, and killed near his home by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain in Sanford, Florida. Since Martin's death and the revelation of more details, the case has drawn national outcry and sparked hot debate over racial tensions, vigilantism, police practices, and gun laws in addition how Zimmerman stated racist comments and was a racist person. (Weinstein, 03).” The next article states 17-year-old African-American high school student who lived in Miami Gardens… Florida after receiving a ten-day suspension from Krop Senior High School. The suspension stemmed from the discovery of drug residue in Martin's book bag… George Michael Zimmerman … part-time student at Seminole State College and a neighborhood watch captain …married to Shellie (Dean) Zimmerman and is the son of Robert and Gladys Zimmerman (Libaray, 02)”. Last article found spoke about How TV news failed Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman, and American people (Spero, 07).” This article spoke about how Fox news was pro-Zimmerman and supported him as a super-star and also how NBC was sued by Zimmerman family for painting Zimmerman in a false light for airing and editing the 911 call made Zimmerman the night of Martian’s death (Spero, 07).” All of these articles where bias for the ratings which in turn created and still creates controversy.
The media creates controversy with every new broadcast they air. The reason the media can do this is because of Freedom of speech and with freedom of speech they can air in every avenue they want, TV, newspapers, and the internet. Due to the news have all of these avenues it is easy for use (society) to find it all due to new technology Facebook, Blogging, and Twitter just to name a few. The easy access to all this information is also due to all the gadgets we have smartphones, lab tops, and tablets. Due to the easy access to all different information just like the Trayvon Martin murder opinions are set and then change and then changed again. The negative part of the media is when they spin their inaccuracy and bias opinions it can affect the public in the wrong way. We all know that common sense in not common and people can get it in their mind to do something about what they read and sometimes it can be violent. Understanding and being able to decipher what is true or not is hard but as a person to know what is true and what is wrong. We just have to be diligent however we do have free will and all.
In conclusion, the media is the media and it will never change. The media needs controversy to keep their audience and to reel in advertising money. Controversy is a part of America we were founded on different opinions and will continue to do so even when it affects people in a negative why like in the case of Trayvon Martian and George Zimmerman. Freedom of speech is a great thing but it is also negative. Using ones common sense is a must to decipher right a wrong and now is a good time to start.
Davenport, A. (2012, 07 16). Top 10 Controversial Topics About The US. Retrieved 02 22, 2014, from Listverse.com: http://listverse.com/2012/07/16/top-10-controversial-topics-about-the-us/
Libaray, C. (02, 22 2014). Trayvon Martin Shooting Fast Facts. Retrieved 02 23, 2014, from CNN.com: http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/05/us/trayvon-martin-shooting-fast-facts/
P. Ferreira, C. F. (2013). The Big Issues. Retrieved 02 22, 20014, from Debate.org: http://www.debate.org/big-issues/
Spero, D. (07, 22 2013). How TV news failed Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman, and American people. Retrieved 02 24, 2014, from Christian Science Monitor: http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opinion/2013/0722/How-TV-news-failed-Trayvon-Martin-George-Zimmerman-and-American-people
Vivian, J. (2011, March 4). THE MASS MEDIA EFFECTS. In J. Vivian, Effects of Mass Media Messages. New Jersey: Allyn & Bacon.
Weinstein, A. (03, 18 2012). The Trayvon Martin Killing, Explained. Retrieved 02 23, 2014, from Mother Jones.com: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/03/what-happened-trayvon-martin-explained