Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Breaking News

Many people see this at least a few times a week, if not daily. You're watching TV, to have your favorite shows interrupted by some plastic looking news anchor bringing you this "amazing" story of a car chase, or news from a criminal trial.

On the way to work this morning, we were listening to the radio, and they said that the shooter from Sandy Hook was obsessed with the news coverage and publicity from the Norway shootings years ago, and this may have motivated him to do what he did.

It really got me thinking. People are always looking to place blame on things that they believe influence children. Social media, video games, music, cartoons, basically anything pop culture. While those things may have an impact on your children and how they learn and grow, it is up to you as a parent to regulate what they are watching and doing to make sure they only see and hear what you are comfortable with. The news may seem a little less harmless than a video game where you beat up hookers and shoot others. But have you watched a news broadcast recently?

Lately, it is hard to even watch the news without hearing it chock full of murder, sex crimes, robberies, yadda yadda yadda. It is nothing but a complete downer. Rarely will there be a goodwill piece or something positive... and if there is, it's usually just a fluff piece at the end of the broadcast for a few seconds. "Sorry about all the shitty news we just gave you. Here's a cute little kitten who was once homeless and now isn't. Awwww, Enjoy your night and try to forget about all of the horrid things you just heard".

The news is ridiculous. They take a story, sensationalize it, and raise the people involved to something like a celebrity status. They report on stories and beat them into the ground. Every. Single. Detail. about the story, they're all over. Look at the chaos right after Sandy Hook happened for instance. They reported several different stories. A second shooter. The mom worked at the school. Hell, they even reported the wrong name for the guy who did it! The news rushes to tell us every single detail about a story, even if they're not sure if they're giving accurate information. They want to be "first" in giving people news and details, not even bothering to wait and see if what they are spewing is indeed fact.

We don't need to know everything. We don't need to know certain facts about crimes. Some of that should be kept quiet. Obviously, report if there is a rash of burglaries and to make sure your doors and windows are secured at night, etc. But I don't need to know that someone broke into the X's house at 123 Main Street, with this color door, and took a laptop, a wallet, a plunger, etc. I understand that some information is pertinent, but I believe that they get a little overzealous in their reporting, and sometimes it is just too much. For instance, the newspaper in New York that published the addresses and information for those who were registered to have firearms.... which then resulted in robberies and attempted robberies at some of those addresses. Sometimes there IS such thing as "too much information".

We don't need 24 straight hours of coverage over a school shooting or a trial which airs intimate details and sex tapes to the public. We don't need details "as" they emerge. I mean.... I'm in Phoenix. I highly doubt that anything that happened on the East Coast is going to be an imminent threat in the next few minutes. (Obviously there are exceptions...... )

If they scaled the news back and only reported relative information, throwing in the GOOD that people do too, it would be a different thing altogether. Bring back happy news stories and talk about the good in people. Because as much as things seem to suck lately, there's a lot of good happening out there too. Except that.... doesn't get ratings.

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