Tangled up in a Feeding Frenzy
Essay title: Tangled up in a Feeding Frenzy
Tangled up in a Feeding Frenzy
Press, paparazzi, media, news reports; in most circles that would give a negative feeling, especially with the funny “p” word (paparazzi). Civil rights, women’s rights, feminist rallies, anti-war protests give an uprising, inspirational feeling. However, little do many know, that without one, we wouldn’t have a whole lot of the other.
Rosa Parks took that famous bus ride down in the south in the great state of Alabama. Had it not been for the national media, those over on the western side of the Rocky Mountains may not have ever heard about it. Would people in Arizona hear about the slaying of the students at Kent State in Ohio during an anti-Vietnam war rally? For the most part, no. Some may have heard of it from friends and family in the area. Media informs the nation of an event, both biased and unbiased.
Today, the social movement hot topic is gay rights. The media has groomed this to be something that is reported on almost every single day in the national news circle. If a congressperson is against it or for it, it’s splashed all over the news locally, which will affect, very directly, their chance at re-election.
The formation of groups is very spontaneous, as nowadays there is a group trying to produce a social movement for about anything imaginable. At the same time, they’re becoming increasingly more organized and turning corporate. People in administrative positions of these groups are getting paid to run them. It’s almost turning into a big business.
As far as clear political messages go, its like athletic ability and people. Some have it, some just don’t. Take the feminist group NOW for example. They will fight for women’s rights, which is mainly a liberal cause. However, if the Republican Party were to start fighting for the major objective of the group at the time, NOW would become backers for the Republican Party.
When looking to a group trying to enact a social movement that has a clear political message, I’m not sure if there is one. Greenpeace will almost always go for the seemingly liberal “tree-hugger” cause. They probably have the clearest political message of them all around right now, that are well known.
When it comes to the perception of these groups, media is heavily involved. Again, you can’t have a social movement or group without having the media and vice versa. However, the media outlets will most likely base their implied perception on their administration’s and possibly big money sponsor’s political interests. This bias becomes more and more apparent when you start comparing stories from different outlets. “From Labor Day to Election Day, the Center for Media and Public Affairs found that 71 percent of substantive comments made about George Bush on ABC, NBC, and CBS by reporters and other “nonpartisan” sources were negative.”
Some news outlets will also dramatize something for added affect and hopefully a boost in ratings. This is especially true during slow news times when something exciting, new, and most of the time, horrible is happening. War doesn’t particularly “sell copy”. However, human elements of the war, such as finding a rebel’s hideout or capturing the
enemy will make great news most of the time. Some media outlets juice those things up also in hopes to tap into some after-boosters for ratings.
When it comes to the perception of social groups, many are projected as radicals when they really might not be so far out. Take for example, the