Report of our EXpedition

Monday, April 23, 2007

part I MEDIA: Sensationalization

Here in the 21st century there is an abundance of ways to receive information. Where and/or who is supplying the information often times dictates how people will comprehend what they have received. Information that truly has no bearing on how we survive from day to day gets presented as need-to-know information. Real points get shifted and watered down to trivial discussions. As the story of Imus progressed into him getting fired, in the news you started seeing a shift. The focus moved from Imus making racist and sexist comments to, “What he said isn’t as bad as what the rappers say.” The media guides people into the trap of thinking these two topics are related when in actuality they are just as related as Saddam Hussein and Bin Laden, the stuff is in the same area but apart of something entirely different. Indeed rap artist lyrics contain some fowl content the difference though is that generally they are not directed towards a particular person. In fact the women they talk about dance in their videos and seem to allow themselves to be associated to what the rap artist is talking about. For the record, although I haven’t met one personally, there are no women on the Rutgers’ Female Basketball team that is calling themselves nappy headed hos.

For both situations the media has wanted to point out that rappers and Imus are exercising their freedom of speech. Well, let’s walk down that path of freedom of speech, and look at this very logically. Indeed as American’s we have the right to say what we want, when we want, where we want. However, like many things in our natural world there is a cause and effect (Newton’s Third Law of motion is applicably to emotion too.). Words cause things to happen they create emotion and put things into action. There is a place and a time for everything (cliché phrase application #1). In real time would Mr. Imus call a female a nappy headed ho in the middle of the streets of Harlem, Newark, Detroit, Compton, or any other densely populated area of African Americans? Again I have not met Imus personally but I can answer that for him, NOPE.

Let’s move away from Mr. Imus and move on to another topic, where yet again we can see sensationalism at work. The Virginia Tech shooting; to say it was a very horrible incident is an understatement. But, in all of its tragedy why do people across the nation need to see the manifesto of a killer? Who does this benefit? Why aren’t there an abundance of stories about how we can prevent these actions or how people think for survival in this sort of situation? Why don’t the media talk about how the police can better respond in these cases? Should they or should they not shut down a school? A practice of being, “Better safe then Sorry” (cliché phrase application #2).
Sensationalism abounds. So who is affected? Are there consequences?

No comments: