May 9, 2020
Bug’s Philosophy: Attitudes Towards the Media
Bug’s Philosophy: Attitudes Towards the MediaSource: The Burgundy Zine
While reading a research paper on attitudes towards climate change in California during the 2012 to 2016 drought period, I can’t help but find myself struck by how the perception of the media is so conflicting across various communities – and how I, a patron of many different communities, find myself in the unspoken valley that lies at the foot of their rivaling precipices.
Note: “Bug’s Philosophy” is an editorial series of free-writes pulled directly from the pocket-journals of editor Burgundy Bug and are expected to be regarded as they are in their rawest form: opinions based upon personal experiences, as opposed to her typical articles, which are meticulously laiden with hours of research.
It seems to be the general consensus that the media is evil, corrupt, and vile – regardless of whether you’re speaking to the general population or an “elite.”
I’m not just referencing President Donald Trump’s consistent anti-media propaganda, although, as much as it pains me to admit, still warrants its own investigation of its influence on the American populous.
Interestingly, it often feels as though doctors and scientists begrudgingly subscribe to acknowledging the power media wields through its reach. They speak of the media with bitter undertones but do not dismiss or detest it. Their admittance of its power is delivered with the utmost subtle passive aggression.
These professionals know they must work with the media in order to be heard at large, but are simultaneously just as quick to quip about where the media appears to be failing the fruits of their labor: lack of coverage, emphasizing the wrong discussion points, and in the worst-case-scenario, inaccurate coverage.
By contrast, journalists view themselves as martyrs of the truth, knights of justice. They perceive the world as corrupt and it is their sole duty to shine a light on such subjects – paralleling how a scientist or a doctor may regard their own life’s work.
The conflicting attitudes towards the media increases in their complexities when considering the attitudes of student journalists: “The media is corrupt, but that’s why we’re getting our degrees; to change that!” As I’ve often heard my peers chitter to each other.
In the student journalist’s eyes, they are the true knights of justice, here to deliver the actual cold, hard truth – free of biases, of course – unlike their predecessors.
As an editor, a student journalist, a science enthusiast, and a health science major, I cannot wholeheartedly devote myself to a station in any single camp.
The media is powerful and definitely has its own biases that shape its agenda. But the media is trying and ever changing with each wave of journalism graduates that emerge into the field.
I can only hope there will be a day in which we are able to facilitate widespread cohesion and cooperation on the most pressing matters, such as public health or climate change, among other concerns affecting the life and wellbeing of Earth’s inhabitants.
I’m not saying we can’t disagree; debate is central to a healthy democracy. But when push comes to shove, we can either stand tall in unity or fall to the wayside.
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