Week 9: Assignment – Jay Fulk

Video news releases are designed to be deceptive in nature, to shape public opinion. To air one of these videos without disclosing them is just another layer of deception. The reason the disclosure is there is to warn the viewers that what they are about to watch is not part of the news program. A TV news channel should not be in the business of deception, so this was very poor taste.

Sometimes the truth can be hard to find when watching the news. Bias follows news reporting like a bad habit. It seems that stories are always being twisted to form the story that the news channel wants the public to see. Sometimes the story just isn’t truthful, so when a news channel doesn’t disclose a video news release and it reaches millions of people without warning them, is just ridiculous. I think that the news lost its true integrity with Walter Cronkite. The man was a liberal but you would have never known by listening to his news broadcasts. He didn’t portray a certain version of the story to fit his agenda or his news channels. He simply reported the news as it was happening. We don’t have anymore Walter Cronkite’s, unfortunately, so we will always be dealing with media bias. The Ferguson case with the black man was shot by a white police officer is a great example of news outlets reporting the story that they want. There were many news outlets that were reporting that the police officer shot an unarmed teen who had just been walking on the side the road. Others reported that the black guy had surrendered and put his hands up, that he was shot in cold blood. Then there were news outlets that reported the officer acted in self defense. What do we possibly believe, or can we believe any of them? It has gotten to the point where we just need to wait until the facts of the case come out before we form any type of opinion. That’s a really sad situation that the media can twist one story into five or six different versions.

One main purpose of video news releases are to have corporations influence the public at large. They will try to sway public opinion in a 30 second video news release. It is a way for corporations to influence the political landscape, which then in turn, helps them out. I feel that corporations should never have any influence over our politics, but they do. How do we truly stop corporate influence through these video news releases? That’s an excellent question and one that I can’t answer. I’ll leave that up to you to ponder.