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Blaming the media but not ourselves

Gravenhurst, Canada
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Blaming the media but not ourselves

Many of the current threads and posts on this forum are directly blaming mass media for the economic hardships facing Mexico and more specifically the island of Cozumel.

To a certain degree, I'm in agreement with that conclusion.

Before we are too quick to pass judgement however, allow me to suggest the following:

Much like our government(s), we get the media we deserve. To that extent, we, as a society must share in the blame.

Since my expertise is in television news reporting, that's what I'll stay focused on. Points for your consideration -

We live in a world of 24 hour cable news stations where ratings are all that matter and factual reporting is a distant second. When there isn't enough "real news" to report, "filler" is added and content is "looped" every 15 minutes or so.

Where competition used to be a good thing in the past, the mass media these days is owned by a handful (or two) of conglomorates meaning far less competition.

To a large degree, "hard news" (politics, economics, foreign affairs) has been replaced by celebrity garbage and entertainment-based "feeding frenzy" journalism. You need not look any further than the enfactuation with Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton and further back, O.J. Simpson as proof.

In the broader picture, "reality television" has replaced quality television in the ratings game. That's a sad statement about our society.

We need to share some of the blame because if we weren't in some part responsible for the current trends, the current trends wouldn't exist. Ratings folks, remember that.

I'm quite interested in the polite sharing of opinions regarding my statements.

John from Ontario, Canada.

Tulum, Mexico
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1. Re: Blaming the media but not ourselves

Well said.

Katy Texas
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2. Re: Blaming the media but not ourselves

HERE HERE!!! Buy that man a drink!!!!

Chicago, Illinois
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3. Re: Blaming the media but not ourselves

Welcome to the me first society, filled with instant gratification.

Cozumel, Mexico
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4. Re: Blaming the media but not ourselves

“The media's the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses.”

A Famous Malcom X quoute....

Newmarket, Canada
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5. Re: Blaming the media but not ourselves

Good thing you are in television news and not newspapers cause you would need spell check

Broken Arrow...
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6. Re: Blaming the media but not ourselves

Cozumel has indeed taken quite a beating recently, reduced flights, cruise lines having a moratorium on stopping there and travelers afraid to go to "Swine Flu Mexico". Cozumel's economy is tourism and even the barest hiccup that causes tourism to drop has a serious impact on the livelihood of Cozumelenos.

"Hard news" has been replaced by garbage, mainly in television media and (in my mind) to too great of an extent in print media. I once had aspirations to be a journalist, partly because my father was (briefly, he got tired of it). His uncle ran - was Executive V.P. - the Chicago Sun Times and he talked me out of it. Even though I never went into the business I've always followed it, observing trends, etc. I'm a news hound.

That said, these are my observations. Years ago all media, both television and print, were independently owned and operated. There were three big T.V. news stations, CBS, NBC and ABC. Yes, they were the big boys, but they were still independently owned. Most of the print media - newspapers (garbage like U.S. News didn't exist) - were all family owned. Ratings and circulation were dependent on the ability of the various media to outdo their competition by using solid investigative reporting to be the first with the story. Newspapers were an integral part of people's lives, pretty much everyone read their daily paper - more so than they watched the T.V. news.

That has all gone by the wayside in today's electronic and business world. Now the majority of all news media are corporate owned and have to answer to their shareholders. What those shareholders want is profit and they do not care one iota how it gets done. It has caused the end of true investigative reporting, because an editor has to gamble that a reporter's story will pan out and be newsworthy, if it's not it will be a waste of their shareholders money. All of the big newspapers that have recently folded, Rocky Mountain News, etc.? They were actually showing a profit and their circulation was good, but not good enough for the shareholders of the corporation that owned them so they got dumped.

People have become lazy, look no further than how much the obesity rates have risen in the last twenty five years. They want their news in nice, tidy little sound bites. It's just too much trouble to turn the pages of a newspaper. Guess which print "media" consistently has some of the highest circulation numbers in this country? The National Enquirer. How sad.

I can proudly say that I have never watched one minute of a "reality" show, but the reason there are so many of them is that they are far cheaper to produce than other shows, which makes the shareholders happy.

Off my soapbox and heading out to my driveway to retrieve (dam dogs just won't do it) my newspaper. We are very fortunate that our local paper has been owned by the same family for over one hundred years and still actually does some investigative reporting and can express the opinions of the paper without wondering if it will offend shareholders.

Gravenhurst, Canada
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7. Re: Blaming the media but not ourselves

hobie169:

Thanks for your reply. It's an excellent "sidebar" to my original post and touched on some issues that I neglected to include.

You, my friend, must have some kind of spell check software whereas I do not.

Thanks again, Chris.

John from Ontario, Canada.

Cozumel
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8. Re: Blaming the media but not ourselves

John,

Very well said. Surely you know the media adage, "if it bleeds, it leads." It seems the public is attracted to the bad news of others, as it makes them feel better when they are in a better situation. I think it also gives those suffering the same ill a rallying cry, I'm not the only one.

I've with hobie on the reality TV. I've never watched. So much less expensive to produce. They don't have to pay the "actors"/participants. Sadly, they are all about competition, outdoing someone else, negativity and outright meanness. What great examples for our children. :-(

By the way John, google has a spell check add-in that you can include in their toolbar that you add to your browser. There's also a translation add-in.

Dallas
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9. Re: Blaming the media but not ourselves

So true, unfortunately.

As far as the reality tv, I have to admit when Survivor first aired, I was so hooked and watched every single year without fail, except for THIS year!

The reason I first started watching was to see how far people would go to win the money. It was very interesting at the lengths they would go, cheating, lieing, stabbing in the back and anything you can imagine...a little hanky panky too. As the years went on,it became disgusting to watch and you would think that those people would have learned something by watching the previous years. I soon came to the conclusion that's the way they are in REAL life! I could never have won that in a million years, because I couldn't have degraded my character as some had. Ok, sorry for the ranting.

Enough said.

Cozumel, Mexico
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for Cozumel, Merida
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10. Re: Blaming the media but not ourselves

Its so sad what all this has done to the local economy and local families. But Cozumel officials learned nothing from Wilma, which shut down the cruise business for so long. They still put all the eggs in one basket--the cruise ships. The cruise lines, such as Carnival, have little invested here and only reap the benefits. Very easy for them to pull out at any time.

I am sure one day Cuba will open to US citizens for travel and imagine where many of the ships will head then.

Hope local official finally wake up--but I doubt it.