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OTHER ITA SITES:
Can the News Media Ever be Responsible to Society?
Managing stress of society. Can the news media ever be responsible to society?
Reporting the news is the function of the news media. And that can be done responsibly or it can be done irresponsibly to society. In fact, every news program ought to have a responsibility rating--say between zero to ten. If the manner in which the news is being presented is totally responsible to society it receives a rating of ten. If it unnecessarily ads stress to society and it totally irresponsible, the program should be ranked a zero.
Fact is we're at war with terrorism--nothing new there. The news can take on the role of being informative or it can take on the role of Tokyo Rose during World War II.
Usually I write about managing stress using biofeedback, hypnosis, nutrition... for the individual to aid in one managing physical reactions to stress or getting rid of unwanted habits such as smoking, overeating... Just as stress affects an individual, stress also affects society and sometimes with lynch mob results.
Now if you were a terrorist, what would you like to hear? Firstly we know that terrorists want to kill all infidels--they deem everyone other than those who have their beliefs (including those of their own race and religion) as infidels. Their goal is to disrupt our lives physically and mentally: Physically by killing us and mentally by reeking havoc with fear.
The bigger their slaughter the more successful they are. But it doesn't stop there. The more mental terror evoked, the more successful they are--they win on two fronts.
What does a terrorist want? The terrorist wants to raise the stress level and fear of infidels. He also wants creative ideas such as garbage can bombs at airports, civic centers, shopping malls--ideas he might not have thought of on his own.
It's ironic, thousands of humans can be slaughtered by genocide in Somalia or some other part of the world and we hear little of it, yet, a car bomb in England can be thwarted and we hear it on all the news media regurgitated for days followed up by the garbage can bomb idea. Let's spread more fear for the terrorist to gloat.
Reporting the thwarted car bombs should be no different than reporting the score of a football game--basic facts without regurgitation of interviewing a dozen experts who less than those investigating the incident.
Now if I were a terrorist, I'd give the news media a ten for publishing my cause, a ten for instilling fear in the hearts of millions, and another ten for the garbage can bomb idea. The cumulative stress on society has gone off the wall. The news media did everything I could possibly want. They've taken my bomb and magnified it ten fold--a great moral victory--and made us afraid of garbage cans too boot. And aren't many wars won on moral victories? The ten score for the terrorist is a zero score for the news' responsibility to society.
Now, I'm not for the war in Iraq--never have been, but we're there and it seems to me that the news media provides far more moral victories to the enemy than it does for our society. They may argue that they are only reporting the news, but I doubt that any group of new casters have had a meeting to discuss what can be done to be less supportive of the terrorist. Is it possible that how the deeds of terrorists are reported actually can morally support their goals? Or do we think that they are ignorant of the news?
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