Point of View
UNITED STATES—As Americans, we see violent things happen sometimes. Rather, it’s a full-blown experience we encounter or perhaps something we've seen depicted in a movie or on television. The problem with the violence in the media is that it has become so prevalent that it’s made us numb to a degree. For most of us, we know what is depicted in movies and television to be fictional, but for children, that does not always apply.
What a child sees in movies, video games and on television has an effect on the psyche. Over time, that over-exposure of the content can shape the mind to believe what is being depicted to be okay. In a sense, too much exposure to violent content is not good to anyone, but to our children it’s even worse. Perhaps the one thing that I should be watching each day, but I find so difficult to watch is the news.
The point of the local news is to inform the public of what’s going on, but at times, I feel as if it’s more about seeing how depressed they can make the viewer in the first 10 minutes. With all due respect I want to know what is happening around me, but at the same time I do not want to hear about four robberies, five murder cases and other violent content. It’s just too much for the viewer to take in at one time. It's overload and much worse, it brings your spirit down to a degree.
Do I believe that it’s the overall strategy of the local station? No, but I do believe it’s a ratings game at times. What is the best way we can draw the audience to us? The happy stories come swiftly and so quickly at times you forget you even saw that story on television. We need more of this in the news. We need some sort of balance between the good and the bad to make people who are living in a difficult environment to sense that there is still some hope out there.
Working in the media, we have a responsibility to provide the news to the public, to present it honestly without any filter, but at the same time, we have a moral responsibility to be accountable for what is unleashed into the media frenzy, as many of us call it. Take a quick glance at some reality shows and you can sense it's all about fighting and unnecessary drama; the worse thing about the situation is that as a viewer you feel compelled to watch and to keep watching. You ultimately have become desensitized to what you are seeing, which is not healthy.
So let me leave you with this last question. When you see something violent occur in the media what is the first thing that comes to mind? Are you upset to hear about it or do you continue with your day?
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