Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #12: How's Your Media?

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Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #12: How's Your Media?

Unread postby fireflydances » Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:12 pm

What do you think about the current state of the media in your country? Are they serving your needs for information? Explain.
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Re: Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #12: How's Your Media?

Unread postby nebraska » Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:38 am

We probably covered a lot of that when we discussed whether or not we trusted the news we are given, but I will ramble on a bit more.
In general, I think our media is approaching most everything from a commercial money-making standpoint and the news has become more about entertainment than reporting. I find it especially annoying that the local newscasts feature so much personality banter, filling time with friendly chat and the most annoying of all is the waste of time hinting at what will be covered in the next segment. Just tell us already!

Newscasts and newspapers have a dilemma from the very beginning because of space/time constraints. The very act of selecting which stories to cover and which stories to leave out are a judgement call and creates bias, even unintentionally. I am not aware of any publications except perhaps a few tabloids that purposely twist facts and tell half-truths such as was done in the book. But stories slightly slanted, chosen or left out, can influence the public.

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Re: Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #12: How's Your Media?

Unread postby stroch » Sun Feb 23, 2014 6:49 pm

I replied to this topic, but it vanished. I do think certain news outlets purposely twist facts, but otherwise agree with you, nebraska.
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Re: Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #12: How's Your Media?

Unread postby fireflydances » Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:20 pm

I was thinking today -- after hearing an analysis about very black/white reporting from Kiev and the lack of any coverage at all on what is happening in Venezuela---that we actually need a different kind of journalism. We are growing closer and closer globally so that day to day concerns and issues in country X will affect day to day life in country Y. The complexity of stories are becoming more and more obvious to the viewer--we are all more sophisticated about world and local events, it is harder to convince even the relatively unsophisticated that one answer fits all problems. More and more people see that many factors go into the creation of every significant event. We need a media that can develop a multitude of sources and a media that is comfortable with laying out a diversity of options so that the viewer can be versed in many different perspectives. In other words, breadth of resources, timeliness, and a thirst for accuracy. No speaking heads.

We used to be satisfied with one or two major stations and one or two perspectives on events. Now we have the traditional media, the informal media, the internet, twitter etc. We are building very complex pictures of our world. The question for me is -- will the traditional media continue to have a job reporting on events or not?

They still have the breadth of resources, the question is can they reformulate themselves so we continue to believe they are central to our search for "the news" ?
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Re: Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #12: How's Your Media?

Unread postby Liz » Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:57 pm

What's happening in Venezuela? :perplexed:

I purposely did not go Google it because I wanted to be honest that I have NO CLUE what's happening there, or for how long.

Granted I have not been listening to much news over the past few days because I've been too busy. However, I did listen to part of ABC World News tonight and my local news. In addition, my mornings are filled with Fox News (not my choice). DH has it on. I partly tune it out because I'm working at my computer. But I generally hear the topics as they come up. But I don't remember hearing anything about Venezuela. Lots about the Ukraine and Obamacare.
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Re: Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #12: How's Your Media?

Unread postby RamblinRebel » Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:04 am

nebraska wrote:We probably covered a lot of that when we discussed whether or not we trusted the news we are given, but I will ramble on a bit more.
In general, I think our media is approaching most everything from a commercial money-making standpoint and the news has become more about entertainment than reporting. I find it especially annoying that the local newscasts feature so much personality banter, filling time with friendly chat and the most annoying of all is the waste of time hinting at what will be covered in the next segment.Just tell us already!

Newscasts and newspapers have a dilemma from the very beginning because of space/time constraints. The very act of selecting which stories to cover and which stories to leave out are a judgement call and creates bias, even unintentionally. I am not aware of any publications except perhaps a few tabloids that purposely twist facts and tell half-truths such as was done in the book. But stories slightly slanted, chosen or left out, can influence the public.
I’m with you on that! And what I hate even more is what passes for “news” these days. They take the precious few minutes they have and instead of discussing a topic that actually matters or investigating an issue with a little more depth, they instead use it to talk about celebrity gossip, what’s trending on social media, funny videos that have gone viral, or perhaps worst of all, for shameless self-promotion. I don’t think there’s anything that gets me more aggravated with the evening news than when they start talking about other tv shows on their network. :grr: (I could probably rant for hours)
fireflydances wrote:We used to be satisfied with one or two major stations and one or two perspectives on events. Now we have the traditional media, the informal media, the internet, twitter etc. We are building very complex pictures of our world. The question for me is -- will the traditional media continue to have a job reporting on events or not?
They still have the breadth of resources, the question is can they reformulate themselves so we continue to believe they are central to our search for "the news" ?

We may have only had a few channels, but it seemed they were worth watching. Traditional news media lost me some time ago, and it would take a heck of a change to win me back, but...
fireflydances wrote:"We need a media that can develop a multitude of sources and a media that is comfortable with laying out a diversity of options so that the viewer can be versed in many different perspectives. In other words, breadth of resources, timeliness, and a thirst for accuracy. No speaking heads.

and I would add with the ultimate goal of objective, unbiased reporting, and then yes, that might pull me in. I do have a fear with regard to the multitude of news sources now available to us. More is usually better, right? In this case, I’m really not so sure. It seems to me that fewer and fewer sources are even trying to find the central road, or an objective stance when reporting. Combine that with the fact that people are naturally drawn to sources that share their own opinion and I think an ever-growing percentage of the population is tuning into tv, radio, internet and print sources that agree with their own bias. That action then serves to reinforce and further extend their bias. With so many choices available, we are no longer forced to see or hear the other side. The other viewpoint is out there, but I think it’s a relatively small percentage of the population that actually seeks it out. I honestly think this factors greatly into why our country is so polarized now. I don't know, food for thought, I guess.

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Re: Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #12: How's Your Media?

Unread postby RamblinRebel » Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:30 am

Liz wrote:What's happening in Venezuela? :perplexed:

I purposely did not go Google it because I wanted to be honest that I have NO CLUE what's happening there, or for how long.

Granted I have not been listening to much news over the past few days because I've been too busy. However, I did listen to part of ABC World News tonight and my local news. In addition, my mornings are filled with Fox News (not my choice). DH has it on. I partly tune it out because I'm working at my computer. But I generally hear the topics as they come up. But I don't remember hearing anything about Venezuela. Lots about the Ukraine and Obamacare.

Well Liz, my understanding is limitted at best. This popped up in my Facebook feed a few days ago and that's how I first heard about it. (Warning - graphic images) Yesterday for the first time I heard it referenced in the mainstream news. I'd say they gave it about 10 seconds. Maybe someone there noticed it was "trending". :-/

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Re: Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #12: How's Your Media?

Unread postby nebraska » Tue Feb 25, 2014 5:30 pm

RamblinRebel wrote:
Liz wrote:What's happening in Venezuela? :perplexed:

I purposely did not go Google it because I wanted to be honest that I have NO CLUE what's happening there, or for how long.

Granted I have not been listening to much news over the past few days because I've been too busy. However, I did listen to part of ABC World News tonight and my local news. In addition, my mornings are filled with Fox News (not my choice). DH has it on. I partly tune it out because I'm working at my computer. But I generally hear the topics as they come up. But I don't remember hearing anything about Venezuela. Lots about the Ukraine and Obamacare.

Well Liz, my understanding is limitted at best. This popped up in my Facebook feed a few days ago and that's how I first heard about it. (Warning - graphic images) Yesterday for the first time I heard it referenced in the mainstream news. I'd say they gave it about 10 seconds. Maybe someone there noticed it was "trending". :-/

Thanks for the link to the video, I had no idea what was going on in Venezuela, either.
The video is a good example of the things we have been discussing. Throughout her narration she uses words like "corrupt" to describe the government repeatedly, inflammatory words meant to sway opinion. She is living in the United States so her video and accounts are second hand. The question becomes, do we believe the video and narration are accurate? Or are they an attempt to gather support for a questionable movement of rebels? How do we know? Whatever the video is, it is not objective reporting.

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Re: Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #12: How's Your Media?

Unread postby fireflydances » Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:03 pm

Here is a pretty decent report on what is going on in Venezuela.


I can't claim that I was paying attention to this more than anyone else. I completely credit NPR radio for keying me in on two levels. One, that Ukraine was a more complex scene than TV journalists were painting AND that another national protest was going on and no one in the media was reporting on it at all.

It is upsetting to realize that we are losing any pretense of good journalism on TV and in many newspapers. I thought it very telling that Springer Press announced this past summer that it was selling the majority of its newspapers to concentrate on its digital business, and analysts are saying that the company is becoming "service entertainment consortium in the style of Time Warner." Poor Axel is probably rolling in his grave!

But what of us? How will we obtain our news? Are we supposed to sort through all that flows at us and discern what is actually correct? On what basis? Do we depend on corporations whose objective has little to do with gathering accurate information? Do we give up and live on rumor?

It gets worse. We used to have institutions called libraries where one could go and sit on a sunny day and read to the heart's delight newspapers from all over the world. We could obtain articles from scholarly journals. And likely almost any book published in the US via the inter-library system. The working class man or woman could read as widely and as deeply about his or her world as a rich man might. Now libraries are being choked out by high fees from publishers producing ebooks and ejournals. I go to my library when I want to be frustrated. They, too, are reduced to stocking the most popular mass media books. Anything that's more than 5 years old is in danger of being shucked out with the trash.

When I research a tidbit I come up against walls all the time. That article ma'am? $20 for one or how about a year sub for $190? Or higher. And these are not comprehensive places. No, you've got to have this annual subscription or that, belong to this organization or that. We are cutting our essential information into tiny, tiny piles which can be accessed by "professionals." My daughter's doctor mentioned recently that her colleagues are having great problems doing research online. Because everyone's search engine is a little different, a little twisted this way and that by our googling friends who know exactly what we want anyway. Two doctors can search using exactly the same terms and the resulting list of resources, list of articles, list of pertinent places to search further will be different. How does one actually access comprehensive research then? Not for free.

So we are witnessing the end of free access to accurate information. I really see this as an issue of enormous political importance, as something that people have to stand up and demand. This isn't just yellow journalism, friends, this is the wholesale destruction of what used to be called the news.
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Re: Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #12: How's Your Media?

Unread postby Buster » Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:46 pm

firefly wrote:
we are witnessing the end of free access to accurate information.

Yes, and we are also being inundated by inaccurate information. The sheer mass of opinionated drivel that assaults us daily is overwhelming.

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Re: Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #12: How's Your Media?

Unread postby Liz » Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:26 am

fireflydances wrote:When I research a tidbit I come up against walls all the time. That article ma'am? $20 for one or how about a year sub for $190? Or higher. And these are not comprehensive places. No, you've got to have this annual subscription or that, belong to this organization or that. We are cutting our essential information into tiny, tiny piles which can be accessed by "professionals." My daughter's doctor mentioned recently that her colleagues are having great problems doing research online. Because everyone's search engine is a little different, a little twisted this way and that by our googling friends who know exactly what we want anyway. Two doctors can search using exactly the same terms and the resulting list of resources, list of articles, list of pertinent places to search further will be different. How does one actually access comprehensive research then? Not for free.

So we are witnessing the end of free access to accurate information. I really see this as an issue of enormous political importance, as something that people have to stand up and demand. This isn't just yellow journalism, friends, this is the wholesale destruction of what used to be called the news.

And the first time I clicked on the link you gave me it indicated I'd have to pay to read the article. The second time I clicked, I got in.

So thanks RR and Firefly for passing on the video and article, but, I'm left now wondering if I can believe any of it.
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Re: Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #12: How's Your Media?

Unread postby fireflydances » Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:47 am

Liz wrote:And the first time I clicked on the link you gave me it indicated I'd have to pay to read the article. The second time I clicked, I got in.

So thanks RR and Firefly for passing on the video and article, but, I'm left now wondering if I can believe any of it.


I am very sorry about that click leading to a price sticker! I assumed that the link I was provided with was a courtesy to paid subscribers. I should have known better. :-/

In terms of reading things, or watching or listening to stories, I think we all need to have a wide focus rather than a narrow one. Many perspectives, deeper reporting. I am leaning more and more to radio because I don't feel badgered to death by ads and the pace is more conversational and less "talking at" a person. Some very cool things going on at the local nonprofit radio station.
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Re: Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #12: How's Your Media?

Unread postby Liz » Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:58 am

fireflydances wrote:
Liz wrote:And the first time I clicked on the link you gave me it indicated I'd have to pay to read the article. The second time I clicked, I got in.

So thanks RR and Firefly for passing on the video and article, but, I'm left now wondering if I can believe any of it.


I am very sorry about that click leading to a price sticker! I assumed that the link I was provided with was a courtesy to paid subscribers. I should have known better. :-/

No worries. That is typical with The New York Times. And many publications hit you up immediately with an add, and you have to "click to skip."
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.


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