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Why the media has no credibility....
October 3, 2001 9:55 AM   Subscribe

Why the media has no credibility.... Read the title, then read the caption under the picture. Sigh....
posted by BGM (27 comments total)

 
I hate it when the word "the" shows up in front of the word "media."
posted by mrbula at 10:00 AM on October 3, 2001


Why?
posted by BGM at 10:10 AM on October 3, 2001


If the media had "no credibility" it wouldn't exist. I dig hyperbole, and I agree that this is a great example of what's wrong with much that we see and read these days. However...

If I may speak for mrbula (which, of course, I may not), the term "the media" is thrown about as if it's some monolithic single entity. "The media" consists of millions of indivudals working for thousands of outlets in perhaps dozens of...well, media (print, television, web, etc.). There's good and bad, sometimes more bad than good, but bashing "the media" is just rhetoric.
posted by jpoulos at 10:32 AM on October 3, 2001


The media to be shot on sight
posted by msacheson at 10:37 AM on October 3, 2001


if it threatens credibility.
posted by msacheson at 10:37 AM on October 3, 2001


Well, it's "the media" in the sense of "the man". It's a mentality of "get the story first, sensationalize it, and then play it non stop until public opinion changes."

It's affectionately known in history class as "propoganda".

It's more so aimed at television usually, but this was a snafu on the BBC's part.

I'm convinced that half of the problems with the US economy pre 9.11.2001 were due to the media CONSTANTLY saying "the economy is crashing! we're going into a recession!"

Your reality is what you make it. And far too many Americans in particular let the american television media shape their reality.
posted by eljuanbobo at 10:47 AM on October 3, 2001


I don't know if BBC stories are like most newspapers, but I know that the writers of the articles have no say over the titles given them; that's usually done by the editor. Even such a bastion of the understated as the NYT occasionally has some howlers of headlines -- and don't even get me started on the Post.
posted by mrmanley at 10:57 AM on October 3, 2001


It's affectionately known in history class as "propoganda".

Generally, propaganda comes from the government, especially when you hear about it in history class, so I'd disagree with you there. Call it sensationalism, hype, outright lying to sell papers or ad spots, but it's not propaganda.

I'm convinced that half of the problems with the US economy pre 9.11.2001 were due to the media CONSTANTLY saying "the economy is crashing! we're going into a recession!"

Now, when the President-elect, as Bush was at the time, starts crying "the sky is falling" in an effort to gain support for a bogus tax cut, that's propaganda. And when that propaganda helps bring about a recession, wipes out the budget surplus that would have been extremely helpful in the face of a national emergency, and results ultimately in defecit spending, that's called "irresponsible" and "bad leadership".

Oh shit, did I just hijack the thread?
posted by jpoulos at 10:57 AM on October 3, 2001


Well, you know, in defence of the story, you have to have a bit of an exaggerated headline for people to click through. 'Sharks to be shot on sight but only as a last resort' just doesn't cut it. If the story itself was misleading or inaccurate then fair enough, but it isn't.

There's much, much worse gets into the papers than this. I remember seeing a poster ad for the Evening Standard in a tube station that said 'Eastenders start fight on plane'. Turns out that some people from the east end of London had got a bit pissed on a flight. Trouble is, Eastenders is the most popular soap in the UK. The Standard's always doing stuff like that.
posted by Summer at 11:03 AM on October 3, 2001


From the Oxford English Dictionary --- Propaganda: "Any association, systematic scheme, or concerted movement for the propagation of a particular doctrine or practice." No government participation necessary. ..... Not that this has anything to do with the original article.
posted by rutgersgrad00 at 11:10 AM on October 3, 2001


i just hope that shark-mania doesn't result in massive killings of sharks, since the amount of attacks isn't out of the ordinary.
posted by mich9139 at 11:12 AM on October 3, 2001


"the media"

"media" is a plural entity. It's okay to say "the media" and it not mean a single entity.

What about "the government"? Is that bad to say? Or "the people"?

Sheesh.
posted by billder at 11:18 AM on October 3, 2001


It's a good thing sharks can't read.

"Like a doll's eyes!"
posted by Kafkaesque at 11:29 AM on October 3, 2001


What? Did you expect a picture of a cute little dolphin to go along with the article? (jk)
posted by Witold at 11:33 AM on October 3, 2001


My problem with the term "the media" stems from the assumptions that frequently accompany it. For example, it's not unusual for my dad to call me after he saw something on FoxNews he felt was poorly reported and then expect me to defend that organization's actions. Why? I have a degree in journalism and once worked for a newspaper. The media. It's not just my dad, either. I get that kind of crap from all kinds of people when they find out what I used to do for a living. It gets tiring.

So, er, I now work for lawyers instead.
posted by mrbula at 11:57 AM on October 3, 2001


Aren't we referring to the difference between 'the media is' and 'the media are', not the use of 'the' in front of it?

While were at it, it should be "...since the number of attacks isn't out of the ordinary," not "...amount of attacks..."

I'll go back to picking nits out of my hair now...
posted by tippiedog at 12:26 PM on October 3, 2001


Won't somebody please think of the sharks?
posted by davidmsc at 1:10 PM on October 3, 2001


When headlines go bad!
posted by aaron at 1:17 PM on October 3, 2001


I wasn't aware that BBC online was "the media". I thought it was just part of the media.

For the record, the BBC website seems to have morons in the illustration/caption department. I don't know whether the stories are originally written for broadcast, but in any case it seems to be a rule that the online stories have a photo illlustration at the top, no matter how generic. The caption rarely has anything to do with the photo itself, but with the content of the story. So every other day or so you'll see a howler.

Again: this is a specific problem endemic to BBC online. I haven't seen it nearly as bad anywhere else.

Here's another example from today, so that you can see the pattern: NZ glacier releases corpses. The photo illustration is a stock shot of some ice-climbers hiking across a glowing blue expanse. The caption is the utterly generic truism Glaciers contain unpredictable hazards. A rare exception: this Estrada case update, which actually uses a photograph from the last 2 days which is relevant to the content, Estrada at a court hearing looking stricken. I clicked on the story half-expecting to see a file photo of him at a campaign rally with the caption Estrada has been charged with corruption.

That's how bad the story-photo-caption harmony is at BBC online.

So can we stop using one stupid example as an indictment of "the media"? Or is this now MetaDemagoguery and I didn't notice?
posted by dhartung at 3:47 PM on October 3, 2001


"Pardon me Mr. Shark! I'd like to take your picture!!!"
posted by ilsa at 3:49 PM on October 3, 2001


"Pardon me Mr. Shark! I'd like to take your picture!!!"
posted by ilsa at 3:49 PM on October 3, 2001


The BBC does this a lot.

About a year ago there was a story about Mr. Blair using the Internet at some classes he went to, and the picture was a posed shot of him at a computer looking at some e-mails. At the same time, there was a big story about a proposed EU 'army'.

The caption under the Blair shot sitting at the computer? "An e-mail about the Euro army? Think I'll delete that one."

I think there are certainly some jokers working on the BBC News site, and their captions have amused me many times!
posted by wackybrit at 4:10 PM on October 3, 2001


If the media had "no credibility" it wouldn't exist.

Hasn't seemed to hamper politicians overmuch....
posted by rushmc at 6:01 PM on October 3, 2001


mitch9139: i just hope that shark-mania doesn't result in massive killings of sharks

But surely these shark attacks were an attack against democracy and free-swimming people everywhere!

Oops ... better get my coat ...
posted by walrus at 5:16 AM on October 4, 2001


I don't see the problem. It's a well known fact that a shark will only attack you when you're wet.

I think I've had too much caffeine...
posted by garyh at 5:47 AM on October 4, 2001


This article is sensationalised to the max. As far as I know, beaches in metropolitan areas are fenced in - sharks can't get in. We haven't had a fatality in years along Sydney's shores.

I'm not 100% certain about other cities, but I know this is true of Sydney at least.

On the otherhand, I'm with Walrus. I say we send Halfbright to the sharks, heheh.
posted by eclectic glamazon at 6:23 AM on October 4, 2001


I don't see the problem. It's a well known fact that a shark will only attack you when you're wet.

It is positively un-American of you to imply that we are responsible for these awful, inhuman attacks upon us! The U.S. has done a lot of good things for sea creatures, dammit!
posted by rushmc at 4:49 PM on October 4, 2001


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