When I think of graphic news, I instantly think back to the Vietnam conflict. I get images of what I presumed were most people reactions to what was scattered all over the television and newspapers (I wasn’t alive when it was all happening).
The monk burning himself, the napalm, the bodies; it all plays so heavily on the emotions of the people watching and observing. This appeal helped build for the support against the conflict. While many cried in outrage against the publications, most were moved enough by it to make an appeal against the conflict.
Fast forward a few decades. With the advent of the Internet (I seem to be saying that a lot…) and associated technologies, the spread of news is wider than ever imagined. However, society has almost done a complete 180 on news reports involving graphic content. The answer isn’t because people are more conservative about what they want to see on news reports. The overall feeling toward graphic media has remained the same for the most part.
Reading “Too Graphic,” put my mind to work. I couldn’t understand why there seemed to be so much more logged controversy about these publications. The more and more I read though, the clearer it got to me.
We live in an age where anyone can express their opinion and publicize it. Be it something as professional as a sponsored news organization, or something as simple as someone ranting to an audience via YouTube, we are flooded with opinion. While the existence of opinion isn’t new in and of itself, the reach of a mass of opinions is. Of course, when something as sensitive as graphic media is published, there is going to be a wealth of reactions to it.
When it comes down to it, there is no real difference in how society perceives these things over time. The information is now allowed to reach a wider audience and, thanks to the same technology, allows opinion to be voiced to a potential audience of many.