Mass Media and Their Audience

After reading the article about The Toppling, I couldn’t help to think about the U.S. Ambassador that was killed in Libya recently and how the media portrayed his death. Although it is controversial as to why he was killed, some media outlets report it happening because of an anti-Islamic movie that was produced here in the states. At a time where tensions run high between the U.S. and the Middle East, it is ignorant for someone to not understand the ramifications that can come with making derogatory videos towards other people’s religious beliefs when it has been known that there are radical groups who will retaliate violently without hesitation.

In regards to war propaganda and our own retaliation for the death of the ambassador, it is the responsibility of media outlets to be very careful as to what they publish, and how they portray the situation. The LA Times printed a picture of Steven’s dead body being held by a man from the terrorist group on the front page of their newspaper. Aside from the fact that it is very disrespectful to Steven’s as a person and to his family to print something so graphic, by the LA Times running that as their cover page, what kind of message are they trying to portray?

Don’t get me wrong, I find what happened to Stevens to be repulsive, and anyone who took part in the killing, both individuals and the group affiliated with this senseless act should be punished to the fullest extent. However, I feel the media should be mindful of what they publish, how they publish it, to whom they’re distributing their information to, and how the information will be construed to the public. In this day and age, I just don’t find it appropriate to post a graphic picture of the dead body of an American man who sacrificed his life for our country on the front page of one of our nation’s biggest newspapers.

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