Participating in any type of social media has been difficult this week. My brothers and sisters in blue have come under fire for recent officer involved shootings. The Charlotte riots have hit especially close to home, as I have friends with the police department, state patrol and the national guard unit that was deployed there.
The media has played an important role in covering the shootings, what they believe might have happened, the aftermath and social outcries. I’d like to share some information on mass media, how it got to this point, and where I think it is headed. (I’ll try not to make this as boring as a history lesson, I promise you!)
— Sam FitzSimons (@SamFitzSimons) September 25, 2016
Newspapers and publications have been in existence since the 1700’s. As industry and the population grew, media expanded and became more sophisticated. Attempts to regulate the contents of newspapers and propaganda materials were difficult until the First Amendment was ratified in 1791. In the years that followed, “yellow journalism” became commonplace, which exploited, distorted and exaggerated stories to attract readers. That led to a court ruling in the 1930’s which stated that restraint of publications posed a greater threat than the journalist’s irresponsibility. They had the full power to skew the truth.
As the media grew into radio, television, internet, cable, and satellites, so did the financial backing. Today six corporations own approximately 90% of the media in our country. Media doesn’t want to run stories that will possibly offend their advertisers, or their owners, thereby censoring what it shares with the public. Media is also pressured to run stories with commercial value, which will entertain and sway the uninformed viewers, with little regard for integrity or respect.
We are living in an unchartered territory; a time of cell phones, body cameras, cameras on every street corner and inside every store. We are living in a time where people believe that they are entitled to see and hear everything that happens, right now. Unfortunately, mass media has become a business of cause and demand, backed by high-powered and influential entities. As long as there is money to be made, and people who are willing to watch, there is absolutely no benefit for them to change.
— #Latinas4Trump (@SandyMSantiago) September 25, 2016
In my opinion, the media is not kind to law enforcement, unless it benefits them. There is no nationwide coverage of each line of duty death, no reports of how many law enforcement officers are assaulted each year, and no investigations by large media companies of the police uniform becoming a target for hatred. Isn’t an officer being killed in the line of duty the ultimate unjustified murder?
Due to the large demand and entitlement of people today, I see no end in sight. The media has become like the wicked step-mother – only kind, in a Cheshire cat sort of way, when it can help her. I have no answers, but I am certainly open for suggestions. In the meantime, I will continue to pray for officer’s safety, and do my best to help keep you safe.