By Nicholas Whitt |Staff Writer|
Violence has always been a serious affliction of humanity.
And now the media exploits the incidents of violence, which makes us hypersensitive to such situations.
Media may incite people to behave a certain way but in terms of causing violent behaviors, that is our own doing.
“If they [media] were a major cause of problems in society we’d know by now. But the evidence just isn’t there,” said Christopher Ferguson of Stetson University in an interview with CBS News.
The media does not have control on humanity’s reaction nor does it affect whether individuals will be influenced by them.
Instead, it highlights violence happening around us, making us less ignorant about where we reside.
There is an average of 293,000 instances (victims age 12 or older) of sexual assault each year according to rainn.org.
Organizations like Family Watchdog inform us about perpetrators who have sexually assaulted people; this information is openly available to the public.
“Almost 40 years, after, the mainstream press made date rape the issue of the moment; women are still highly likely to be sexually assaulted by an acquaintance such as a date; little changed, it seems, from the media spotlight, however distorted it was,” said Paul L. Thomas, associate professor from Furman University.
Media allows viewers the opportunity to receive factual information, instead of talking ignorantly out of their hat.
Police brutality is a controversial topic in the media. Especially now since people have the ability to record unfortunate wrongful incidents of police brutality.
In the first 24 days of 2015, police in the U.S. fatally shot more people than police did in England and Wales, combined, over the past 24 years, according to The Guardian.
Police authorities are supposed to be keepers of peace—without media this concept would still be true in people’s eyes.
Police officers in 2015, according to the findings in a study by The Guardian study, recorded a final tally of 1,134 deaths at the hands of law enforcement officers this year.
However, there are many incidents covered by media outlets that have negatively affected societal views, causing people to form seemingly ignorant opinions about violence.
“The media is exploiting the terrible death of 17-year-old Trayvon by convicting the man who shot him, George Zimmerman, of wrongdoing on television,” said Bill O’Reilly,Fox News commentator, according to News Max Media.
Police brutality is normally never thought as justice done correctly, but Zimmerman, who never had police training, killed Martin and was portrayed by media as righteous for shooting the 17-year-old.
This event sparked controversy across the U.S., with people protesting about the incident.
Media in reality does have the ability to adversely influence individuals to react accordingly to how they see fit but only depending on how impactful the event may be.
Furthermore, media can also have a somewhat positive influence on how viewers see certain situations.
“With inadequate government controls, the media was now able to publish uncensored pictures and videos showing the brutality of the war in Vietnam and, thus, vastly influenced American public opinion in unprecedented proportion,” according to thevietnamwar.info.
The media had a large enough influence over the U.S. to make the final decision for them on why they pulled out of the war.
The reason for this is not because of people following the media like mindless robots, but because they found out the truth, which never could have been known without the media.
Media is essential for society to become less ignorant about the world and become involved with how certain lives are affected.
It is a powerful tool, allowing for control over individuals will; but that depends on if those individuals do not have enough knowledge to maintain informed.