It’s the end of the month already, and I’ve got this blog post idea that I’ve been sitting on but haven’t written out.
Y’know, the usual.
I’ll be completely honest: I don’t have much respect for journalism and what it’s become. There’s something disgusting to me about strategically bending the truth in order to get people interested in what you have to say.
The incident that happened close to my home is still very fresh to me. It happened earlier this month but people have already stopped talking about it. Life has moved on as if it never happened. But the pain is still there and the damage is still very much evident.
These incidents shouldn’t be just a fad. They should be affecting us deeply, causing us to change our way of thinking, of attempting to change the world lives in, with, and around itself. We should be petitioning to make changes in our governments, in our culture. But the truth is: it’s too hard for us to become affected by these happenings unless they impact us directly, and it’s too hard for us to make wise decisions with our time and our money. How many more people have to die before we start to make the necessary changes in our society? Tell you what: if some tragedy has impacted you directly, then it’s already too late.
The other unfortunate truth is that fads make money. Fads keep the news “interesting.” It gives the media something to write about, to report. Just take a look at Korean pop culture. No artist, movie, actor, whatever has been in the limelight for more than a few years, and it seems as if the popularity of said subject is entirely at the behest of the media who are reporting on them.
If anything, I’d argue that the media are a huge reason these tragedies continue to happen, and I’m not going to blame just the entertainment industry here. News stations are at fault and industry professionals agree with that fact.
Here is Roger Ebert’s movie review of Elephant, in which he discusses an interview he had with a reporter a day after the Columbine shootings in 90s. The excerpt in question begins in the third paragraph, starting with “Let me tell you a story.”
Here’s an excerpt from a BBC show hosted by Charlie Brooker:
The shooting that happened in Mukilteo was kept pretty quiet, but I really think that happened because there weren’t as many victims as some of the other incidents we’ve had lately. Still, media outlets plastered the faces of the victims all over the internet, specifically the female victim, most likely in hopes of getting more traffic to their websites.
It’s disgusting. It’s vile. It’s putrid. It has no place in this world. Unfortunately, it’s also simple psychology.
I wonder if journalists feel any remorse when they literally turn tragedies into their own money.