Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Controlling the Masses

This is something that I wonder about often. When some kind of situation happens the public freaks out. The media has it's craft down, they realize that violence, death and destruction grabs the public's attention, thus, keeps the public 'tuned in' to their media outlet. It is a vicious cycle and I know that there have been numerous writings about this topic.
The wee hamlet of Wells has had the opportunity to experience public panic of epic proportion within a short period of time. Observing human nature through this has been something else. At times it has reminded me of the musical 'Fiddler on The Roof' with some of the panic and scuttlebutt that is stirred.
This type of propaganda holds a duel responsibility. The media knows it embellishes its reporting, and they know the public eats it up. The media, rather than making the sell, should realize that simply telling the tale would suffice. No speculation, personal opinion or hyperbolizing.
The public, on the other hand must be rational in what it choses to take as fact or as excess. Which may be difficult since we are a nation of excess. It is the 'fear' factor that keeps people so close to the edge of panic. The tiniest bit of 'public menace' or 'disaster' stirs up the embers of ignorance.
The only way way to defeat ignorance is thru education and discipline. If the media didn't have the audience, then it would reconsider how it presents news. But without knowhow of where to gain the knowledge, how does one become educated in such matters?
As the Zen man said, "Nothing is as it seems, nor is it otherwise."
As you listen to news reports, and media reportings, please take into consideration the main goal is to hold your attention, not necessarily giving the whole facts. If they can keep you on their hook, their ratings go up.
A good recommendation: Fear Less by Gavin de Becker.


1 comment:

ccropper said...

So true, My husband when he was in Iraq in 2005-2006 told me not to watch the news, look at articles on the internet, nothing because all it would make me do is worry. Nothing good is ever on the news or accurate for that point. I even noticed when they were reporting the shooting in Wells they were saying the officer was from Reno.

I feel that it gets blown way out of proportion and it feeds on the fear of the public. I think about when it is reported about the crimes happening and I instantly feel like its going to happen where I live, but statistically speaking the chances are slim.