Tuesday, January 20, 2009

How much do you REALLY know?

As a student of Media, Information and Technoculture (well ok, I'm an MTP'er but same thing really) I like to think I know a fair amount about how the media works. We can talk all we want about how the system is flawed; awareness is a huge part of change, but how will change come about? One such issue is news report biasing on major networks. Fox Network is a prime example of this bias as seen in "OUTFOXED: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism" .
The main problem with the current system is hegemony, people aren't aware that they are being fed propaganda. The machine has become so clever, and so commonplace that viewers don't even question what they are seen and told. In the case of Fox it is Rupert Murdoch's Conservative, rightist views that control his empire.
In the documentary it is evident that employees are encouraged to debase anything that is not pro-republican. Fox can do this because the fairness doctrine no longer exists in America, so they don’t need to show each major political party equally. This may not be such a big deal if one company is doing it, but when one company owns about one fifth of the media in one of the largest and most powerful countries in the world, this becomes problematic. This is even more problematic when the given source of information claims to be ‘fair and balanced’ or says ‘we report, you decide’ while covering a major election (even though leading up to it they would say things like ‘only 204 days left… until President Bush is re-elected’. No, that’s not suggestive at ALL).
So the question remains… can there really be a media source that is fair and balanced with this monopoly of media? For now, it seems, the fate of your views hang in a delicate balance, dominated by five massive conglomerates. However, there are more and more people realizing this problem and taking action by starting alternative news sources. Maybe you should just catch up on your blogs, there are plenty out there with several view points. It may be a little harder than turning to channel 34 to catch your daily dose of Fox, but it will be worth it.

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