Wednesday, January 21, 2009

"Shut Up?"

After viewing Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism, and as a student in an information media program, I am disappointed in my lack of awareness regarding the journalistic ethics that FOX News values.

The lack of integrity that Fox News displays, as reported in this film, strips the notion of ethical journalism that viewers have come to trust and depend. Fox News’ ability to blur the line between facts and commentary is exemplified through their use of sayings such as, “some people say,” or “officials say.” Peter Hart notes in the film that the idea behind journalism is to source, and this is the networks way of inserting anonymous information. Hart goes on to say it’s a “clever way of inserting political opinion when it probably shouldn’t be there.” I was appalled by the amount of times these few words were used by newscasters. Since when have facts and sources become insignificant?

“Show, don’t tell,” is a common phrase used in journalistic reporting. This film does both, through collaborative video and audio clips, which allowed me to focus on the way in which the network reports. Video clips of Bill O’Reilly’s “shut up” antics, immediately made me lose respect for the network. A network should pride itself on representing facts accurately, while respecting the opinions of those being interviewed. Being told to “shut up,” makes both the interviewer and network look ignorant, in my opinion. The news business is just that, a news business. News networks are a type of entertainment industry which strives to generate income through viewership. Telling interviewee’s to “shut up,” will get a gut reaction from viewers, therefore keeping them interested.

I commend the former Fox News employees and contributors, who were brave enough to reveal their past experiences, and speak their minds about a situation that would have formerly been condemned by FOX News. As voice “Anonymous 3” noted, “if you challenge you them on their attitudes of things, you’re history.”

Although I do not watch FOX News on a regular basis, I am starting to wonder if other networks are similar in their way of reporting. This film and its contributors have encouraged me to analyze and take notice of the information I depend on daily. Whoever said you are rewarded for pushing the envelope (most likely Rupert Murdoch), must not have known that this film was going to be made.


Liz said...

Wonderful ain't it. After being in MIT I realize how oblivious the world is to everything that is actually happening. Either a) we don't take time out of our busy lifestyles to find out the truth on a story OR b) we choose to rely on one primary news source that feeds nothing but bullshit.
Thank you MIT for opening my eyes and shutting my ears to all the garbage being fed to us by the world.
Great post!

Dianna said...

nice. i need to watch that film. But the overall lack of moderate news outlets still makes me cringe.

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