Dilann Yasin

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Is the mass media telling us how to think?

Depending on which source of news you like best and in which form you prefer it, the news you get can be a little bias. For example, FOX tends to be more conservative than CNN. This can affect the types of stories they present to their viewers and how they present them.

  • Apr 19 2012: They don't teach us to think, they try to tell us what to think. A lot of TV news stations slant the news to fit their view points these days. Then, they try their best to sell it to us, rather than reporting just the facts. In my opinion, MSNBC can be the worst for doing this. I watch it once in a while to get a different take on a story, but usually the obvious bias of the "reporters" just makes me mad! It is up to each of us to remember the old "buyer beware" slogan, more than ever, and to sort through all the junk to get to the facts.
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    Apr 18 2012: Everyone has their own way to view this. Some think that XYZ is commie pinko and ZYX is the real truth. I question almost everything. I watch several US stations and BBC. That the media is bias is not a news flash. I question all major stories. Strangly the easiest lies to prove to be lies are campaign promises. A quick check of the Constitution the duties of the President and Executive Powers are outlined. The hardest are stats. Poll takers word the questions to get the answers wanted by the person who is paying them. I know I did this for a while. Ever wonder why the terms out of work and unemployed come up so often. shouldn't they mean the same. No way. One means the amount of people who applied to unemployment for the first time. The other is the amount of people who no longer applied for unemployment and have given up looking for work. Use the one that proves your point. The number hired includes part time and temps where it should only be long term employment. Yep we are led and lied to by almost everyone and the media goes with the one they are told to put forth as "THE ONE". If you are interested there is a video on you tube that is interesting and thought provoking about the Russian KGB by a defecter. Search for: Yuri Bezmenov. I am not saying that this is all true either but it did inspire thought. We currently have a multi millionare President who is preaching that the rich are your enemy while he pocketed after taxes $800,000 this year. When he gives this up I will believe him. He is a excellent talker and made the poor believe the rich Republicians are out to take their share of the American dream. Free this and free that is not possible but they believe him. My advice is to question everything and avoid smoke and mirrors at all costs. All the best. Bob
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    Apr 27 2012: They don't tell us how to think but they form the way we think by putting forward certain images, clips and words.

    You can find that out easily by asking somebody who only watches Fox and somebody who watches only CNN the same question.
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      May 2 2012: I agree, I think its best to try and get a variety of views on issues from a lot of different sources.
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    Apr 26 2012: Journalism has morphed into a tool of the News industry. Mass media certainly does suggest, overtly and covertly, how they want us to think, but they cannot make us think contrary to our own convictions. When a person is void of convictions the Media can easily hold sway. My answer to your interesting question is, if by "us" you mean people without convictions, absolutely YES. The answers flip-flops for people with convictions.
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    Apr 22 2012: nice topic,

    I don't think media tells us what to think. I think what the media does is try to understand what and how people think and do what they can to appeal to their interest or fears.

    If you read up anything on Edward Bernay's and Walter Lippmann in regards to propaganda techniques they'll tell you how the media functions.

    Just some food for thought, most news sources are controlled by some sort of corporate interest and depending on who's paying the most money to these news corporations, depends on what stories get put out to the public, which is why fox may seem a bit more liberal than CNN at times.
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    Apr 19 2012: Certainly not helping us to think
    Maybe telling us what to think
  • Apr 19 2012: In my mind, Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent even 20+ years after it was written offers the best insight into how the mass media really works in America. It's essential reading to anybody interested in the subject.

    As others have suggested, the best way to combat media bias and corporatism is approach every bit of news you see with a healthy level of skepticism.
  • Apr 18 2012: Not at all!

    If the media accomplishes anything in the way of thinking skills it reduces the capability to think at all, no matter which media outlet is used. Instead the media molds minds to THEIR way of thinking.

    The old saying, "Don't believe everything you read or hear," still holds true.

    Therefore, constantly asking, "Why?" will lead someone to thinking on their own, no matter which media outlet they watch. The question, "Why?" will then send them in search of an answer, where ever that may lead.
  • Apr 18 2012: Steve Jobs once said...

    "When you're young, you look at television and think, There's a conspiracy. The networks have conspired to dumb us down. But when you get a little older, you realize that's not true. The networks are in business to give people exactly what they want. That's a far more depressing thought. Conspiracy is optimistic! You can shoot the bastards! We can have a revolution! But the networks are really in business to give people what they want. It's the truth."

    Not a whole lot can be said after this deadly accurate thought by a true open mind... Mass media is not teaching us how to think, we (the people) are choosing not to think...
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    Apr 18 2012: answer your own question: is mass media teaching you how to think?
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    Apr 18 2012: What,........do you mean Kony?
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    Apr 18 2012: Sorry ,from "mass media" there is now NEWs anywhere, no JOURNALISM anymore.....All are planned propaganda......... they are busy selling proganda to the MASS...

    Need toTHINK how propaganda is teaching me to THINK ?
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    Apr 18 2012: A little bias. Understatement of the month.
    I also suggest we tend to go to the media that reinforce our views.
    But that doesn't mean we are easily convinced by counter arguments or information biases opposing our own.
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    Apr 18 2012: The news we watch or read affects what we learn about and to some extent what we believe is true. You specifically asked whether the mass media teaches us "how to think" rather than asking whether the mass media tells us "what to think."
    My conjecture would be that when we hear and read superficial or simplified versions of stories, and read and hear such a level of thought daily, we may become so used to this that we start thinking less deeply about things and are less likely to recognize that the issues are actually more complex than the accounts we hear.
    In school when we work with children on critical thinking and on advancing our understanding of a subject by research, questioning, and discourse, we are trying to suggest a disposition to think carefully, learn to recognize bias, and learn to recognize the distinction between well supported fact or theory and opinion.
    Such training can help a person later to recognize when something portrayed in advertsing or in other formats is over-simplified or misleading. But mass media and advertising are definitely a highly influencial counter-force.
  • Apr 18 2012: I think typical news media have large bias especially stations like FOX news.

    Luckily people have increasing number of choices where they can get their news from. The Internet has huge number of less bias news resources.
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      Apr 18 2012: Actually, I think the internet makes it harder to find reliable souces of news since anyone can go online and put "facts" up on the wall.
      • Apr 18 2012: While anyone can put online "facts" as many conspiracy theorists do.

        What matters is how a certain website or organization are considered to be trust worthy. Trust worthiness is generally established by search engines, well know organizations and people recommending sources of information, popularity and ability to compare different sources of information to see who can be trusted.

        Another big advantage of the Internet is the variety of sources one has access to from both organizations and individuals, including people at the middle of an event that use Twitter and blogs to report what exactly is happening around them.

        Some of the generally recognized sources of news information is Wikinews: http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Main_Page

        By reading and comparing sites like Economists, BBC, Google News, Haffington Post, Wall Street Journal and others, one can get different views, opinions and wider range of facts.
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      Apr 18 2012: Yes Fox news terrible terrible, can you name one other conservative tv station?
      Yet on the liberal side we ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS,Cnn, BBC, your right we need to get rid of that one conservative tv station.

      I don't think that they realize they are biased (its a Kathryn Schulz thing). But to your question they definitely indoctrinate and polarize making it impossible for people to find out what they don't know as they walk around thinking they know.
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        Apr 18 2012: Im not saying the liberal media is any better, they're just as bad. I'm dreaming of a day when our mass meida isnt bias...
      • Apr 18 2012: I think PBS and BBC are quite neutral in reporting. I am not sure about ABC, NBC, CBS or CNN.

        I stop watching TV news a long time ago and instead I now read news from Google News feed, Economist, BBC and such.
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          Apr 18 2012: I think PBS and BBC are quite neutral in reporting. I am not sure about ABC, NBC, CBS or CNN.

          That is my point.