Monday, April 15, 2013

Breaking News

This class has sure changed the way I view news reports now (which, of course, is the point). I am currently flipping through the stations that are covering the breaking news about the explosions in Boston that happened this afternoon. It only happened about an hour ago, so the information they are giving are very limited. The most interesting thing I've observed is that the FIRST publicity this situation received was from a photo posted on Twitter (click here to see the photo). The news station I was watching (Channel 13) admitted that's how they first heard about it. The videos of the blast that they have been showing in a loop on all the channels are from someone's phone or personal camera.

On CBS, the announcer was letting the viewer know that people in the area were not allowed to make phone calls from cell phones because "perhaps cellular phone calls could trigger a latent bomb." This is an odd request to make of people, and I doubt it'll hold up long because people will be calling family and friends to be sure they are okay. I believe this is just a result of people scaring easily, but that's just my opinion.
Speaking of scaring easy, the way they are replaying and replaying the exact same videos, and will be for the rest of the day, is not good for people. I agree with my roommate: It's unhealthy to stare at the same thing all day long. Especially with headlines like "Patients with limbs blown off" sitting along the bottom of the screen. Thanks, Fox News. :/ At least CBS had the decency to say something like "people with amputated limbs." Fox is making it sound like a video game.

If you notice anything about how they report this, post it here. I sure hope those people are okay....
(I don't mean for this post to sound cold-hearted or apathetic, I just found myself watching this differently than I usually would).


  1. Well I don't think your post came across as cold-hearted or apathetic at all; this class has also made me more aware of the ways the media presents the news. First, I'll agree that it may be unhealthy to dwell over something like this for some people as you said, but I don't think that should necessarily slow the rate the media pushes information out, nor do I think it will. I also don't take offense to headlines like "Patients With Limbs Blown Off". After all, that is what happened, like it or not. In fact, I'd almost take more offense to headlines that try to euphemize what happened.

  2. All of it seems rather sensationalist, doesn't it? I think now that you've noticed how the media tries to play things up, you'll probably never stop. That isn't to say that what happened in Boston wasn't horrible, but the way things like this are covered is almost maddening. I think this points back to the concept of information overload in which we're told about something that is happening far away from us, but we can't exactly do anything practical or helpful with the information.

  3. Yeah I agree with John, it is really sensationalist. It's all breaking news all the time and when something big happens they milk it for all its worth. I think the first time you see it on the news or the first time you hear about it its shocking, but we are so used to this kind of thing happening that we have become more apathetic. As awful as it sounds, I heard about it and I thought it was horrible, but I probably did not think about it until someone brought it up again. I think the way it is reported and sometimes the way they tone things down makes it all less important and easier to dismiss.