Media & its (ir)responsibilities

19 Feb

Yesterday during my usual Saturday R&R (live F.A. Cup football (soccer if you aren’t from around these parts)) I was channel hopping during the half-time punditry (YAWN) …so being a responsible citizen I thought I’d see what was happening in the world that the NEWS channels thought I needed to be aware of … and all that was of real front rank importance was the funeral of a moderately successful African American singer …covered LIVE on both of the 24hr news channels here.

My beef is not with Ms Houston, her tragic death or with the televised funeral. My concern is that at a time which sees the increasing tension in the part of the world which supplies the majority of our basic energy commodity, Syrians are dying for a chance of democracy, the European ‘cradle of democracy’ is being driven back to a barter system by unelected technocrats, global economic stagnation and continuing poverty and starvation our media decides that in order to fulfill my role as an active and informed citizen I don’t require full and unbiased information on these issues …No what I require is to be given live coverage of an American Christian funeral service.

My point is this if, as we are told, that a fully functioning and free media is a fundamental prerequisite for an effective democracy, and since most people still get their first contact with world events which affect their lives through the media (events which they can and will research more fully through other sources if they are interested), are our mainstream media NEWS channels not being willfully irresponsible in choosing Ms Houston’s funeral over their duty as one of our democratic safeguards to keep us informed in order that we can more easily grasp the issues affecting our lives?

Note I have no issue with entertainment, cultural or mainstream channels covering the funeral live, my complaint is directed at the NEWS channels.

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