The media industry. A mass collection of public communication. A circulation of information, digital and non-digital, among the greater percentage of the population. This power in the wrong hands could be deadly, as has been proved in Hollywood movies such as The Ghost Writer, and Brazil, and as the now infamous quote from Spiderman goes; ‘With great power comes great responsibility.’
But we trust those in control, right? The united force of the public could in know way let anyone corrupt tell us what to believe, or even if they did, there’s no way we’d be foolish enough to believe it?
The problem is, we like being fooled. Famous magicians rely on this, enabling them to continuously bedazzle and amaze countless willing and innocent victims. The general public want to hear what other people think, other people’s subjective opinions, a person’s or people’s understanding of a topic. That’s how the human species have evolved, the clansmen have an increased chance of survival if we show
agreement with the clan leader, and following in his footsteps can only lead to being a part of his primary group, and sharing his women.
Today, the media industry twists and misconstrues facts in order to best appeal to a modern market.
An example of this is the drama surrounding John Smeaton, a Senior Ramp Assistant at Glasgow International Airport. Smeaton discovered two suspects driving a burning jeep filled with explosives into the airport entrance, and ran over to assist the police. He helped drag a bystander to safety after kicking one of the suspects, Kafeel Ahmed.
Smeaton was awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal for his actions, and became a huge media star almost overnight. A while later however, once the buzz about Smeaton had worn off, media journalist found another bone to pick on. One of the other staff at the airport complained that Smeaton had received more attention than he deserved, and that other staff had helped just as much, if not more, and Smeaton had not given credit to any of them in his interviews. The media turned on Smeaton just as fast as they had praised him, and he became someone for the general public to despise. An interview was done with Smeaton some time after that, and he revealed that he preferred bad publicity to no publicity.
This is an underlying problem in the media industry, where everyone wants to become famous, to be a household name, to be a part of the celebrity lifestyle. The media takes an active part in this, encouraging people from very young ages to want to share themselves with the world, to perform well and to show others that they can perform well. This isn’t a problem in itself, but the media also actively promotes consumerism, with examples such as celebrity-covered toys, and television marketing especially for children, relying on their ‘pester power’.
Multiple surveys have been done on this, and it seems to be the overwhelming majority of children who prize ‘popularity’ above anything else, and want to be pop-stars, celebrities, or any other famous media personality.
So, now what? If the media is so corrupt, if truth and facts have become obsolete, how do we navigate through our day-to-day bombardment of social media?
Short answer, by being analytical. Cross-check that interesting fact you heard, before bringing it up at the next dinner party. Find some another sources that confirm that piece of history you were taught by that documentary. Even this blog post you’ve just read is trying to push you to think from a certain perspective, everything is.
Let’s be careful out there.