As a person between the ages of 16 and 24, the question, “What are you studying?” is a given in almost any conversation. Though I’m proud to relay my commitment to journalism, I often have to deal with subsequent (unsolicited) opinions about how the media is ruining our society.
And maybe it is.
I mean, whether it’s on cable TV, video games, written articles or news broadcasts, it’s undeniable that there is an increase in violence, sexuality, drug use, leftish values, even vampires.
It’s there. And my outwardly opinionated counterparts seem to think that that misogynistic, violent material is corrupting the impressionable, innocent minds of our nation’s youth.
But ponder this: Which came first, the range-free, organic chicken or the hormone-“enriched” egg?
The world is ch-ch-ch-changin’. The chicken, the eggs, the increased earthquakes throughout the San Andreas fault… Most of all, values are changing. People no longer court lovers or drink iced tea on their front porches. Instead, young lovers escape to make out behind the bleachers or hook up in the back seat of the movie theater.
It’s a different world, nowadays.
And venting aside, my (implied) question remains: Which came first, the crazed out media or the crazed out media consumers?
Note that I speak mostly for print journalism…
But regardless, “the media” is first and foremost a business. And as such, it needs circulation and advertisements and readership. In order to attain that, it needs readers.
Short and sweet, media needs readers to survive. So, naturally, they cater to what they feel the consumers want and demand.
So again…which came first, the crazed out media or the consumers demand for crazed out media?
Who’s corrupting whom?
My grandmother, though she knows I’m a writer, insists on bashing mainstream media as a left-wing corruptive evil. Instead she reads the local Catholic publication (which readily informs readers that birth control is the new soma and is turning society’s young women into overweight baby killers with hormonal imbalances and unfixable PMS. Whatever).
And my grandpa (her husband) recently criticized our local paper because he didn’t deem any of the A1 stories “front page-worthy.” He was of the opinion that the front page be war news and world issues and death. Instead, the editor had interspersed those stories throughout the A section and included more “fluffy, human interest” pieces on the front page.
So it seems that when the paper decided to feature stories that highlighted the good of the public, rather than the death tolls, my grandfather objected. He wanted the numbers and tolls to be the front page focus, rather than human interest.
So which came first?
Ultimately, no media source is completely rid of bias. Decisions must be made, stories must be cut.
And I might even argue that no consumer is completely void of interest in the CSI-esque world that the media provides is. It’s a give-and-take relationship.
Ultimately, the media isn’t perfect. It can’t be. By nature of the fact that it’s a business and is run my mere mortals, no such organization exists. Papers are leftist (or, in some cases, severely misinformed and conservative) and that’s basically just an assumed fact.
But so what?
The media informs the country as a business. It makes no claims (that I know of) to be 100% truthful. The burden to find the truth instead lies in the hands of our consumerist public. Pick up a paper, read, and challenge. Plleeeeasseee challenge it. Think critically. And then go online, go to the source, do your own research. And figure it out for yourself.
Our nation’s media may be biased. But our society is ignorant.
Which came first? I don’t know and I honestly don’t care. Both need fixing.