Media Too Powerful

.. show came under even more scrutiny, and many people felt that Jenny Jones and her show was also responsible for this murder. People can’t have trust in the media and many don’t feel they can trust the judicial system. The media has taken it one step further, there is a book in the works on this case and they are negotiating a movie. It is hard to believe anyone could profit from this (French 1).

Was the Vietnam War lost because of the media or because of political policies executed by senior commanders in Vietnam and by elected officials in Washington? The military claims that American reporters had free access to most battlefields, and were against the American effort. Officers claim the military’s hands were tied by the bad news going back to Washington, and that the reporters gave a distorted view of the conflict. The body count is what changed public opinion in America on its’ perception of the war. Television stories with violence, actual combat, and dead or wounded U.S. soldiers appeared on news broadcasts in the newspapers regularly. This was the only American conflict with no censorship. Veitnam with all its ugliness, was the only war ever that had few restrictions on reporters (Francis 2).

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The media claims American democracy was built on the free flow of information, to view power being exercised, and that it is an absolute right of citizens to know. Never again will the U.S. military let reporters cover combat unrestricted (Francis 4). The Persian Gulf War was the most decisive victory in U.S. military history.

In seven weeks of aerial bombardment and 100 hours of ground battle, there is not one minute of television news video to document the greatest armor attack of all time (Francis 1). The media was excluded from the Desert Storm battlefield, Panama, and Grenada. Combat is a nasty business, and it is made more difficult with a reporter looking on. With the uncertainies of war, occurances on the battlefields, and the possiblities of mistakes in strategies, having them reported in the newspapers and on television only show what using hindsight does. Many feel that our democracy was built on the free flow of information, with the access to view power being exercised, as an absolute right of citizenship. This right must somehow be weighed with national security (Francis 4).

In an attempt to regulate media content of on-line services, the government is taking a very cautious approach to new forms of restrictions on media content. . They support a flexible, creative scheme of assistance to encourage the development of new forms of content for on-line services. There is also an urgency in addressing consumer issues already raised by on-line services. With on-line information comes the need to ensure accuracy.

There are over 3,000 web sites sponsored by newspapers. The pressure to publish new material is enormous. It is putting a premium on being fast rather than being right. Television news displaced print and now net-based news is displacing television for the same reasons (Phinney 2). The news media in California has some restrictions imposed when they seek access to school grounds, including registration, accompanied by a staff member while on school grounds and denial of permission to enter classes that are in session. School officials can require the news media to leave the school grounds if their presence interferes with the peaceful conduct of educational activities.

The school district may not require parental permission before allowing members of the news media to interview students. School officials have the authority to deny acess to members of the news media, as they may deny access to anyone, if their presence would interfere with the peaceful conduct of the school activities (Kronick 2). In California, restrictions were placed on the media in regards to access to prisons and executions. Journalists were banned from conducting any face to face interviews with specific prison inmates. The media claims this hampers their abilities to convey to the public the true conditions of California’s prisons. It also deprives the tax-paying public the avenue of oversight into the administration of the state’s penal system. There was an attempt to reverse this ban, but the governor of California vetoed it.

The San Francisco Bay Guardian maintains this ban has hurt the public and the prisoners (The San Francisco Bay Guardian 2). The United States is not alone in its attempt to regulate and restrict the media. Britons have called for restrictions on the British media after the relentless press pursuit of Princess Diana. Some Britons want a privacy bill to stop all the media from pursuit of celebrities and ordinary people.The media is accused of the aggressive intrusion into Princess Diana’s privacy that lead to her death. Currently, the British press is largely free of state intrusion. The government uses contempt on court and defamation laws to keep the media in check. The British press is trying to distance itself from the celebrity photographers, referred to as the paparazzi, claiming they are a law unto themselves (Barlow 3).

Our President has been the focus of our media. In an attempt to rush scoops, journalist tend to exaggerate small distinctions and use unreliable information to produce a story. Rumor becomes allegation, then allegation becomes fact. The reports state that something may have happened with a Whitehouse intern. The press named this scandal Zippergate, and by the second day of hearing of the alledge incident, the media was already talking about resignation and impeachment (Stengel 1). The rumors spread like a virus.

The general public hears so many conflicting reports, the easiest answer would be just to turn it off. The media has made a job out of taking polls on the President’s popularity, honesty, and personal morals. They try to judge how much damage the accusations have cost him and his presidency. The media has yet to show how this is beneficial to the American public. It has shown how the media benefits from it, with increased sales of newspapers and higher ratings with news broadcasts. The thing that is lost in the effort to get the big story is perspective (Stengel 3). The media has a large influence over political candidates.

With the advances in telecommunication tools such as telephones, faxes, and computers and with live television coverage of candidates, the media is able to deliver a campaign message and gauge public opinion (DeGroat 1). Candidates are subject to much greater scrutiny, with greater emphasis on raw coverage, talk shows, town-hall meetings, and live television segments.With just the way the media asks a question, they can slant how the public will view the candidate (Kurtz 1). Talk radio has changed political campaigns and the way the country reacts and pursues issues. With news operations becoming increasingly competitive, many reporters lack the background to do their work adequately. The media has been accused of herd behavior, but CNN blames the chaotic environment that journalist operate in. One of the biggest problems in the media is the porportion of importance of each story (Kurtz 3).

Governments have restrictions it can impose on the media. They can restrict or restrain the press from publishing matter considered seditious, libelous, or obscene. Freedom of the press has been limited in the areas of obscenity and pornography, although the courts have had difficulty in setting standards of censorship. The media can be barred from criminal proceedings (Berninghausen 8). Restrictions of the media occurs during times of national emergency . The future of a free press in the United States depends on public opinion, the legislative agencies, and the courts (Francis 2). Freedom of the press should not come before individual rights to privacy or what is best for the country .

The media should verify what are facts and what are inuendoes. They should be held accountable for the information that is reported, and be held to verify information instead of going for sensationalism. Prominent individuals, celebrities, and ordinary individuals should not feel threatened by the media. The media is a special interest group of sorts, having their own special interest at heart, and should not be given a protection to hide behind. As rules and laws are made for the benifit of all citizens, media intergity should take on a new dimension.

The media is caught between freedom and responsibility, with government taking a stand on issues regarding individual rights to privacy and national security, it gives the media their First Amendment right but also ensures each citizen their rights. English Essays.