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Watch what you're watching

By Brielle Gordon
On April 14, 2014

With only a handful of television networks dominating the news industry, it's hard not to speculate whether the public is viewing a diverse selection of newsworthy material.

News media outlets may have evolved, allowing us to reap the benefits of technology, but the competitive nature of journalism has become like an episode of "Survivor." As for the code of ethics, it's slowly going out the window.

News networks are desperately vying for the most viewers, shifting their focus from quality to quantity. Browsing the news channels during primetime hours is like flipping through a photo album with the same picture on every page: They have the same stories but with different angles.

The Jordan Davis and Michael Dunn case involving the "Stand Your Ground" law occupied all the major new stations in February. Undoubtedly, this was a tragic story that had its place on the list of relevant issues. However, the coverage may have been dramatized to attract viewers.

Networks like Fox News and MSNBC formed debates around Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law. With a combination of the pundits' divisive rhetoric and emotionally charged framework, viewers were compelled to choose sides.

News networks are more concerned with shock value and coaxing their viewers rather than reporting significant news from non-biased approaches. But objectivity in the news industry is not the only component in jeopardy. 

Substance is a requirement for most news stories. However, slowly but surely, news outlets are becoming a haven for daily dilemmas of Hollywood celebrities. Prominent figures are inevitably worthy of publicity, but Justin Bieber's bad boy antics, such as his DUI incident in January, or the latest scoop on Kim Kardashian's baby's name, are undeserving of front-page news. 

The demand for celebrity entertainment news ends up trumping more important issues, such as rising tuition costs and the unorthodox gun laws that Georgia is trying pass.

News stations will continue to exploit their loyal following, but I urge viewers to step outside their comfort zones. Don't depend on one source when it comes to gathering information. Explore a variety of news and experience different mediums from every corner, especially on political and economic issues.

As it pertains to news stations, money and ratings are their main concerns. Be mindful that your favorite news channel may not have the best intentions regarding moral ethics and delivering fair, newsworthy issues.


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