Saturday, July 14, 2012

How the media priorities can prevent an informed citizenry

Why do fewer and fewer people think the local newspaper is relevant enough to fork out a dollar of their hard-earned money? 

Here’s a clue. 

The front page of Thursday’s Post-Star contained a wire service article about the sports program at Penn St. (a college hundreds of miles away) and a millionth generic wire service ‘analysis’ of the presidential race (as usual ignoring 2/3 of the candidates).

The front page did not a word about a significant boil water notice affecting 14,000 people in the paper’s hometown. That was deemed too minor to make the front page and was relegated to the local section. 

This is a pretty accurate reflection of the editorial judgment of the paper’s decision makers.

The national media is little better. The Progressive reported on a study by Media Matters. The study noted that in the last 18 months, the Kardashians have received 40 times more coverage in newspapers and television than ocean acidification, one of the major consequences of climate change.

Only in America would more people believe in the Kardashians than in climate change. Though for people who rely on the corporate media to be informed, it's easy to understand why.

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