If you’re a life-long student of mass communications like I am, two tragic incidents recently — the death of Kevin Ward Jr. when he was hit by a car driven by Tony Stewart, and the death of Robin Williams — provide opportunity to observe The Media in action and, more interestingly, public reaction to the media in action.
Twitter and Facebook have a lot of downsides, but one of the big upsides is they allow people to voice opinions, and allow the world access to those opinions like never before.
Usually these media critiques come down to a few main themes:
- Too much information
- “Sensationalized” information
- Inaccurate information
- Willful attempts to use the power of The Media to damage someone
- A relatively new one: lack of standing to comment
- An oldie-but-goody variant: intentional laziness or favoritism because the media are complicit with one side or another.
In general (please see discussion below for all the caveats and nuances) 1) people don't get that the media is a business and that it's VERY market-driven and 2) I tend to error on the side of more information over less, within reason.
Let’s break it down (I wish I was getting graded on this term paper …)