‘The Network’ Comments

Corporate Ownership

The Network which was released in 1976 foreshadowed the path the television has taken over the past 37 years. In The Network the amount of corporate ownership in the media is dramatized, satirized, and even made extreme. In this movie the corporate holdings control the network and the news. The corporations are in the news business for the money. The money comes from ratings. Ratings come from the way the audience likes or dislikes the show. Thusly, the corporations control the news; not the producers, journalist, or directors. In The Network, corporations are portrayed as a deadly, money-hungry monster. The corporations are willingly to do whatever it takes to get good rating so they can make money. Sometimes, the ‘whatever it takes’ aspect includes hurting people, invading privacy, fabricated or incomplete information, and exploitation. Over the years, news has turned into this machine made only for money and entertainment. The audience wants to be entertained, so the news has turned into entertainment. The news organization should report only the facts and not embellish what happened.  By embellishing the story or making the story entertaining the importance of news is lost. Some news stories aren’t reported because they aren’t entertaining. Some stories are made more interesting in order to keep the audience’s attention. I don’t think that in 2013, news has turned into the extreme case of corporate ownership of media like portrayed in the film. However I do believe that we are heading that way like a runaway train. I don’t think, at this point, there is a way to stop this inevitable event from occurring. We reached the point of no return.

 

Revolution Not Being Televised

I think the media can greatly affect a revolutionary message or cause trying to be portrayed. I think the media can both strengthen or weaken a message. The way these recent revolutions in the Middle East have been televised or reported on makes a difference. For example, the recent issues in Syria are being covered worldwide. Even just in America the news associations are blowing up the mediums with information about Syria. For example, coverage is on CNN all day, Associated Press Radio Syndication all day, and on the front page of the New York Times. This bombardment of information on Syria has been going on for weeks on end. The American news associations have made the rebels in Syria look like victims and made the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad look like a bully. The way this has been covered has strengthened the rebels’ cause. It makes American citizens feel bad for the rebels and think the America is justified in the desire to swoop in and help out. Another point in the issues in Syria is the way the chemical weapons aspect has been covered. The news has made the part about chemical weapons scary. People across the globe are frightened the Syrian government will start dropping bombs and blowing things up. However, news can also weaken a revolutionary cause by the lack of reporting. If an issue isn’t receiving much coverage from the media then it weakens the message that the members of the revolution are trying to get across. The lack of reporting shows that something isn’t newsworthy, and thusly isn’t a big deal. Another factor that can strengthen or weaken a revolutionary message is the way in which the news covers the issue. If the news organization use a tone or particular words it portrays an angry or condescending view then the revolution receives a negative effect and in turn is weakened. However, if the news portrays a happy, fearful, or sympathetic view then the revolution receives a positive effect and in turn is strengthened. News can greatly effect a revolutionary cause or message based on if the cover something, the amount of coverage something gets, how they go about reporting something, and what aspects of the issue are made well know.

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