Filed under: J840 Week 4, Society + Media | Tags: CNN, FOX News, media objectivity, Missing White Woman Syndrome
The phrase “objectivity and advocacy in journalism” immediately makes me think of the 2004 documentary, Outfoxed. Much like Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 documentary that attacked President George W. Bush, Outfoxed was aimed at exposing FOX News Channel for its conservative, right-winged objectives.
On the flip side, news channels such as CNN, MSNBC and CNBC are accused of having left-wing biases, favoring democratic candidates and liberal topics. So which news source are we to believe?
Remember the media coverage of Natalie Holloway, the 19-year-old, blonde college student who disappeared during spring break in Aruba? Or how about JonBenet Ramsey, the six-year-old pageant queen from Boulder, Colorado who went missing one Christmas Eve? Recall the names Caylee Anthony, Elizabeth Smart or Kelsey Smith? I’ll assume your answer is yes to at least one of these names, if not all of them.
Now what about Reyna Gabriella Alvarado-Carrera or Mya Lyons? How many people recognize these names? I’ll admit I had to do a little research myself to remember the names and the significance attached to each person. Alvarado-Carrera was a young, Hispanic woman who disappeared around the same time as Holloway and Lyons was a young, black girl who disappeared around the same time as Anthony, yet neither one of these girls received nearly the amount of media coverage the others did. Even more perplexing is that every news station was guilty of this media biased, not just FOX or just CNBC.
So what’s the objective? Why do journalists cover one story over and over but selectively leave out others? What is the media trying to advocate by covering certain
types of stories versus others? My honest answer is, “I don’t know.” I can guess that the media covers stories it thinks its audience wants to know about, but I think it’s the media’s responsibility to keep us informed, not focused. The golden rule of a journalist is to remain objective, not selective. I know it’s easier said than done, but as a consumer of news, I want to hear it all, the good, the bad and the ugly. I’d like to make my own discretions instead of the media deciding for me.
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