News Media Criticism — A Conclusion

Since i have started with my studies — especially when i started to study politics — I have always been interested in news. I check the news regularly, several times a day, usually in the morning directly after waking up and then most of the times when I am sitting in the bus or train or when I wait for university seminars to start. I enjoy using this “waiting time” in a useful way and I consider checking the news as useful. I know that there are some people who don’t check the media (at all), but not because they don’t care, but because they refuse for several other reasons e.g. because the mostly bad news make them depressed or because they claim that media is not always telling the truth and even tries to manipulate us.

Here I would like to add a few final thoughts to:

Of course media and news agencies are not always telling the truth although I still think that most of them don’t lie on purpose. Sometimes they just have not really time to double-check the news because the pressure to be the first to publish is tough. I think it is more an exception than the regular basis, that media lies intentionally. So I don’t really accept this as an excuse.

What I understand is when people complain about the focus of media. Some stories make it to the frontpage, some only get a few lines. The terror attack in Brussel gets the frontpage whereas another deadly attack is only mentioned in a few sentences somewhere on the bottom of a page. Maybe even if less people were killed in the terror attacks. Of course you can ask why. And you should ask. But you should ask also yourself: Why do I personally care more about some stories than about others?

Honestly speaking, I do care more about terror attacks in the western world or in the middle east than for example in Southern Africa. 5 years ago I didn’t even care about attacks in the Middle East. Why? Because I didn’t know anything — or not as much as now — about those countries. A car bomb in Bagdad? Ok. Just another incident of many.

Why did this change? Because now I care. My interest for the Middle East grew with my engagement with the refugee crisis. Suddenly I knew people who came from these countries. Suddenly I knew stories, I knew faces, I saw pictures and videos.

Two days ago I was shocked by the bombing in Bagdad. Probably more than the majority of the German people. Why? Because my boyfriend is from Iraq. Because his family lives close to it. Because he has been there, he showed me pictures, he told me stories. I care because it affects me.

Media knows all this. But I always ask myself if media really is to blame for this. For making headlines of some stories and for making only small articles about others.

I want to thank my instructor at university for making me think about all these questions and aspects. I think people should reflect much more about these topics. Especially those, you always complain and accuse media and news agencies for making profit out of everything.

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