Saturday, April 30, 2011

The royal wedding, the media, and what's important

Yesterday morning I turned on the TV to catch the weather. Our local news was pre-empted for coverage of the Royal Wedding, so I changed channels. The Royal Wedding again. And the next channel, and the next.
Maybe we can just sit back and enjoy the moment. Or maybe we've allowed media saturation to form our opinions about what's important.
Yes, our media is free to report, but the news we consumers receive is filtered through layers of administrative oversight. And those administrators are concerned about their bottom line. They'll point media coverage toward whatever brings in the most money. Most times, that's sensationalism, anything that's over-the-top like the Royal Wedding. But the frightening truth is that the media controls the things we see, the stories we hear about, and therefore, the way we see the world.
When does media become propaganda?
Thoughts like those keep pulling me back to the lessons of history. The Nazis had an entire staff dedicated to finding/producing media that showed grand processions, cheering crowds, smiling leaders and in general, stirring the citizens into a frenzy. Look where that got them.

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