Modern Journalist: What is their Agenda?

In a world where the more devastating your news story is or the more dramatic it is determines whether or not anyone will tune-in to watch you or bother to pick up your news story to read. It’s no wonder why journalism practices have changed quite a bit over the years; they are just catering to what they feel the audiences needs and want.

Ted Koppel, a journalist of 25 years, has had the opportunity to see the changes in journalism has undertaken in just a quarter of a century. He witnessed “relatively unbiased accounts of information that respective news organizations believed the public needed to know” to a more “market minded, profit-driven journalism” in recent years.

For instance the coverage of the Saddam Hussein statue toppling in central Baghdad was part of a new media tactic called “pseudo-events.” This act of tearing down a statue was turned into a world-wide frenzy that was reported for more than it really was by CNN, Fox News and other news correspondents the whole entire day it was happening. By using photographs of close shots, it made the area around the statue appear crowded with people, but a wider shot revealed otherwise and the majority of the people actually there were international reporters and marine soldiers. The reporters on-site were actually told by their editors to create a story there even when though the reporters urged their editors that there was absolutely nothing going on. In fact this act of creating pseudo-events had a horrible effect on one Iraqi man. In one of the shots, an Iraqi man is shown sledgehammering the head of the statue. Since then seven of his family friends have been killed and injured and “since then his life had deteriorated” and reported that he really regretted bringing down the statue in the first place.

Maybe journalists are reporting meaning material or maybe they’re not, it just depends in how you choose to interpret it. One thing is for sure journalism is definitely not the same as it was twenty-five years ago not because of the way we choose to publicize events; but because of the topics, events, information, etc. that we choose to publicize.

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