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9/11 and the media

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  #1  
Old 03-11-2002, 02:55 AM
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G. Couch G. Couch is offline
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9/11 and the media

Ok. This may start a heated discussion but as BigAl says, it's been rather quiet in here lately.

I had a lively discussion tonight with a few people, about whether or not the media (American media in this case) is over saturating people with September 11th coverage. Has it come to the point where it has begun to cheapen the memory of that day? Where is the line between the coverage of news and the exploitation of events for ratings / profit?

On a related issue, do you pay more or less attention now to international events and does the media do a good job of getting us this information? I had thought and hoped that Americans would have begun to pay more attention to the world beyond our borders after 9/11, but that does not seem to be the case. (at least to me) The media seems preoccupied with maintaining our insular attitude. It is almost as if many Americans would like the outside world to go away and leave them alone. I cringe to think of the number of people I know who, even now, can't find Afghanistan on a map and have no idea why the seemingly unimportant events in a small country can have drastic consequences for the rest of the world.

While I'm venting... Our isolationist attitude cost us and Europe dearly in World War 2. Had we waited even longer to enter the war, odds are England would have been defeated and worse, the Nazis may have even developed nuclear weapons long before the United States. Are we making the same mistakes now? Is our continued national ignorance about the outside world costing us our security? To relate this to the other questions, what responsibility does the media have in deciding what Americans should be paying attention to?
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Old 03-11-2002, 07:58 AM
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Greg,

I just sat here and replied to your post with a rather lengthy post of my own. Then I realized that it could easily turn political in nature, and I try not to get involved in discussions of that type. It's not a matter of agreeing or disagreeing with you or anyone else, I'm just taking the easy way out. You do raise an interesting question, but I think this could open up a can of worms.

Ed
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Old 03-11-2002, 12:26 PM
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G. Couch G. Couch is offline
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That's true Ed and I have to admit I was in a bit of a cranky mood last night when I wrote it! Feel free to zap the thread if you think the topic is a bit to heated. I would like to read your response if you want to email it to me!
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Old 03-11-2002, 02:01 PM
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The events in NY were chewed over immediately after the event on these pages although with no reference to media interpretation, the images spoke for themselves.
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Old 03-11-2002, 03:06 PM
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The media always take a hot topic and beat it to death. Look at the Clinton/Lewinsky coverage or Elian Gonzalaz coverage or how lond did OJ last. When they get a juicy bone they don't let go very quickly and I guess that's just the nature of the beast.

Now as to my personal experience, sometimes I am getting so sick of hearing about the Arab nations and terrorist groups yet I have been addicted to world news like never before. I do have to stand back at times and take a breath and sort out the hype from the facts. But ultimately it gave me a better sense of who is running our country (besides the president and vice P) and alot more about the world beyond our borders. I guess that's a good thing but it does get overwhelming when you were used to a peaceful little life where the world outside was but a brief comment on news you barely heard.

A war may be imminent but my main concern is to plan, fund and supply our forces and allies in a way that most effectively protects those brave people fighting this war. Their safety is tops in my book. So if it has to be, then lets give them the best tools of the trade to do their jobs.
DJ
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Old 03-11-2002, 03:30 PM
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Chris, you bring up a good point- "the images spoke for themselves." I guess I should clarify why I was starting to get a little upset last night. A special TV program was shown last night in the United States, which revealed a great deal of unedited ground zero footage. I did not see the program, but the people I spoke with who did, say it was not only very moving but unlike any other coverage of the events they had seen. It sounds like this program did very little to manipulate the viewer and just used the images and sound to speak for themselves.

September 11th IS a topic, which should get media attention and should stay on our national consciousness for a long time. I just worry that the media will begin to treat it like an OJ, or Lewinsky type event. Even many of the victims are saying that the overwhelming coverage is preventing them from dealing with their personnel loss. Perhaps the media should just step back and ignore some stories, so that people can have some peace.
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Old 03-11-2002, 04:23 PM
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Ref your last paragraph.

I think its a vain hope, the media circus must have grist for its mill and the events of September in NY and Afghanistan provide the material.

It amazes me how Afghanistan is once again on the newsfront. Down the years 3 of the great powers have landed on its soil and I don't think any will have had happy departures.
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Old 03-11-2002, 04:38 PM
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Chris. Regarding Afghanistan - One wonders if, when all of this dies down, if anyone will pay any more attention to Afghanistan. The United States lost interest in Afghanistan after they won their war against the Soviet Union and this indifference indirectly led to the formation of the Taliban. Our media has a tendency to beat something to death and then you never hear about it again (Haiti and Panama come to mind). If the public has no idea what is going on in the world, it's no wonder we can be so easily caught off guard.
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Old 03-12-2002, 12:14 AM
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Just as a matter of interest relating to how fickle the media is, has the elections in Zimbabwe made the news in the US?
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Old 03-12-2002, 12:38 AM
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BigAl - Yes it has, although I don't think many people pay it much attention. I was watching a debate on Cspan (a news / government TV network) this past weekend and they were talking about about what sort of news the American public responded to. A news anchor mentioned that as soon as the network goes to a foreign correspondent or does a segment focusing on an international story, the ratings go way down.
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