Share & Connect
According to A.C. Nielsen Co. which studies consumer behavior, the average U.S. Citizen watches TV more than four hours a day. This means that we spend one sixth of the day listening, and in a passive way, to the opinions of some characters that are the spokesmen of those who decide what has to, and what has not, to be said in their channel. In other words,during a 65 year life, we would spent 9 years in front of the tube.
What’s more is that during the time we watch television, we acquire the vulgar manners that some characters use on those comfortable sofas in the TV sets. We pick up on the fictional use of counterproductive verbiage in a jungle where law is established by the one that shouts most.
But my intention is not to criticize this sensationalist programs, nor the unbiased loose of this media, since they are in their right of expressing their points of views even when boorish. Plus, no one forces us to consume these programs.
However, until that point, aren’t we forced to watch those things that just a few people from the elites want us to consume?
Ten mega corporations, including the OL/Times Warner, Gannett Company, and the Rupert Murdoch conglomerate, News Corporation, share and control the biggest information medias from the United States. This means that what seems like a plural market is no more than a group of ten huge companies, where there is not a place for any type of individual voice.
Logically, these companies move around benefiting their own interests. In this profitability race, there is a place for every type of trick from hiding what does not benefit them to informing to exhaustion about what it does. For instance, let’s take the Spanish actual media case.
One month ago, the miners in northern Spain have cut several of roads to protest against the subsidies that were promised at one point by the government, and are now denied. Despite its importance, there is a clear news blackout about this topic.
On the other hand, we have soccer. Spain has reached the Euro Cup final. This is something historic, but it still does not deserve the treatment it receives. For hours and hours, many different channels chew any information related to the Spanish national team, while, in the meantime, the risk premium and the unemployment rate go higher and higher. A perfect example of bread and circus. McCombs already said in his 1968 Agenda Setting theory that news media have the power to influence the salience of topics on the public agenda. In other words, media influences society and determines which stories are newsworthy for them.
There is an abuse because these carriers of information, which are an authority in the information field, use their medias to promote and to seat the ideas that benefit them. As an example, we just have to take a look at the role that most televisions took disseminating Iraq war propaganda. The different TV companies from different countries presented the war quite diversely according to where they came from. For example, when things went very bad at for U.S. forces, a story originated from a reporter that supposedly found a huge chemical weapons production facility. This story was quickly spread through the U.S. media, and after was discovered it was not true.
Also consider the Jessica Lynch case, a clear example of manipulating a story.
Whether forced by higher spheres such as the government, or maybe due to the profitable war, these companies constantly repeat their ideas and thoughts every time we read a newspaper or watch TV.
Think about it. A passive and frivolous society, that does not know the intentions of those who manage the world. Scary, is it not?