Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The media is a rather powerful entity. Internationally, the media (television mostly) provides the world with a view/opinion of the global public sphere. The media presents various perspectives, facts, and images of many global events. Wars are frequently covered and intepreted by the media, based on this week's readings. Governments use the media as a means of transmitting its message to its citizens and the world. Focusing mostly on the United States and its "War on Terror," Bush utilized the media to shape a perception that would defuse criticsim and mobilize support of the decisions he had made and were going to make after the 9/11 attacks. The Bush administration was very successful in framing the war. They used carefully selected terms such as "coalition forces" and "liberation" when presenting to the public. This part of the process is considered an approach to media management drawn from domestic politics. Basically, the administration was spinning the information to create favorable circumstances domestically. Spinning was not just synonomous to the Bush administration. Previous presidents have utilized the same practices. It is used internationally as well. Bin Laden catered his messages on Al-Jazeera; he attempted to persuade others that America was fighting against Islam because throughout the process America had to constantly reinterate that this was not a war against Islam. The media obtains much of its news via its local government, so it should be no surprise that the government uses the media as a tool of propaganda. However, it amazes me that so many involved parties just go along with the process and many times offer questions afterwards.

CNN is a prominent supplier of television news. The CNN effect is an idea the media function as a "conduit of a politics stuck in a rut and paralysed by special interests." The CNN effect suggest that the media simply focus on things relative to conflicts, elitism, regionalism, and/or politics. An example was how German television seemed to have forgotten about the violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and focused more on the Iraq War because it had a higher level of resonance internationally.

Based on this week's readings, I view international media as propaganda. Sure anything that deals with politics is subject to consisting of some type of propanda, but I am still surprised. Various international television news networks are beginning to share information that will offer a more favorable view of their home country. (i.e. Al-Jazeera shares infor with other Western television networks). It was interesting to see the stair step of how international news trickles down from the government to the news agencies, media, and consumers. New communication technologies definitely have assisted by allowing news to travel at a much faster rate, but all of the news that travels is not meaningful, or should I say its significance has been skewed. Is it safe for me to say that it isn't news unless the current presidential administration allows it to be??

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