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What is YOUR view on the the media and its connection to "moral panic"?

It could be argued that there IS a clear connection in the sense that the media often induces moral panic with particular news reports such as the Colorado and Sandy Hook shootings. The bombardment of these reports on the public, for example, may then spark an upsurge of individuals advocating for stricter gun regulations. In this sense, it could be argued that something "good" may arise out of "scaring" the public.

But what is YOUR view on the media and moral panic? Is it good or bad? Should the media make themselves more aware of this occurrence and its possible positive and negative effects? Or is it the responsibility of the viewer to rationalize the situation?

Any and all opinions are greatly appreciated!

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    Mar 4 2013: Scared people is more influenced.
    They don't question.
    They buy antidepressants.

    Media only cares about profit.
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    Mar 2 2013: It is very important for young people to learn what devices different media use to attract attention and also not to believe everything they read and hear- in fact to review critically, recognizing the possible underlying motivations of the speaker/writer and how that influences what he chooses to say and to focus on.

    It is also important to try not just to read and notice what you most want to hear and believe. That is how people get into a cycle of enforcing and reenforcing beliefs that might be quite wrong, including moral notions about others.

    We don't have control, typically, about what others will say in environments of free speech, but we do have control over the papers we read, the news stations we listen to, and the links we click on online. We can try to read and listen with an eye toward hearing a balance of views and representations.
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    Gail .

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    Mar 2 2013: It is your responsibility to OWN your emotions. Emotions are powerful things. They come AFTER thoughts but BEFORE behaviors and ALL behaviors have consequences. In this way, it is important to know how legitimate your thoughts are, because mistaken beliefs (thought structures) cause strong emotions that cause destructive behaviors, whereas accurate beliefs exist alongside satisfaction (which is far better than temporary happiness) and they prompt satisfying consequences.

    It is impossible for a viewer who doesn't believe this to understand what RATIONAL means. Thus you have those who are afraid of others (fear = emotion) calling for laws that will increase fear, and those who are afraid of big government calling for more government to create less government, and those who demand freedom (fear of their self-perceived lack of it or threat to it), working very hard to limit freedom.

    When you drink a diet of fear-mongering, your personal life will provide you with fear-filled consequences. They will seem to make great sense, but that does not mean that it does to those who have learned what logic is. Whether or not you watch these programs is your choice, thus you choose fear or not.

    I am much happier since I gave up allowing the media to think FOR me. The world seems to have gone on pretty well without my daily immersion in such shoddy and painful mind-abuse.

    Networks, religions, and governments that promote "moral panic" are not ethical. Step away from the propaganda and see that for yourself.
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      Mar 4 2013: you make things sounds so easy but you seem to forget that most of the Earth's population is either uneducated or brain washed and i'm also including North America and Western Europe.

      this means that those people cannot be responsible for their own emotions. of course, telling them "It is your responsibility to OWN your emotions." won't solve anything. i think it is our responsibility to help them. media and the press should first stop from taking advantage of these people, but they won't so we need to expose it. social media can help. most people now have internet and there are 1 billion users on Facebook.

      i think initiatives like TED can help educate some people and limit the abuse of those who cannot be educated.
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        Gail .

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        Mar 4 2013: I see most of the western world as being "functionally uneducated" - which includes brainwashing. Telling them that they are, and offering simple solutions (such as - step away from your TVs, with explanations as to why you should do so) are my way of getting the message out.

        In their brainwashed state, people can say that they CANNOT be responsible for their own emotions, but think about it. They are part of you, You CAN choose to own them or not. It's nothing more than a choice. No one can FORCE you to emote something that you do not want to emote.

        Thoughts precede emotions, so look at the thoughts that precede uncomfortable emotions and test the unproven assumptions that spark them. I have found that they are ALWAYS accompanied by mistakes in my belief system.

        Perhaps, because of brainwashing, people don't know that there are alternate choices, but this comes down to being functionally uneducated.

        the two go hand in hand.
        • Mar 30 2013: "They are part of you, You CAN choose to own them or not. It's nothing more than a choice. No one can FORCE you..."
          I'd say to look into Martin Seligman's "Learned Optimism." I think people can very easily be lost in someone else's control. I think it was on his first day in a lab that the other scientists were frustrated because they'd unknowingly taken all hope/choice out of some of their test dogs - to the point they were useless to run psychology tests on. This is very easy to do - even with humans; so what happens after a year or decade of increasing controls on a person, or a century of dumbing-down and/or constricting a society?
          "Thoughts precede emotions" If I had a picture of a fish about to eat a fish about to eat a fish, I would bet a doller that that never happens in nature. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think it's quite that simple or straight-forward.
          Note that I don't think it's impossible, just not easy. Maybe this is one way we are all responsible-for, and depend-on each other for truth & integrity; we all owe each other - as opposed to owning.
  • Mar 2 2013: The media is not interested in morals. The media is just selling what they have to sell.
  • Mar 30 2013: My view, the media is no longer reporting news so much as reporting the slant of the news that it wishes to push so that it can sell air time. The news media used to tell us the news. It would give us a slanted news story of course, based on the newscaster or company, but it was more about news and less about sensationalism. Now, bad news sells and pushing an agenda can be done through reporting.

    Take the shootings as an example. Yes, they were tragic and I will not debate that. But, they were an anomaly. The media sold the story by showing us pictures of kids being escorted out of the school, cops with guns, guns coming out of the guys car, and stories about the horrors of owning "assault" weapons. Even though the story did not fit the actual information about firearms in the states. But, it sells news.

    There are far bigger issues we face that are far more important and never reported on by the media. The mere fact that some issues are never reported on, or under-reported, say drunk driving and its effects, tells me that the media is out to influence us rather than educate us. That and the act that we have news agencies that lean "left" and "right" in their reporting should say something significant.

    Worse, the media presents "facts" that are not accurate or skewed which puts those who present actual data in the position of appearing wrong or not with it. Or, at worst, crazy.

    On the flip side, good actual news reporting can alert us to serious concerns that we should be worried about, like the genetically modified food bill that was just signed into law.
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    Mar 4 2013: ideally, the viewer or reader should be capable of rationalizing, but we all know that it isn't possible.

    we also know that the media needs to make money, so we can't count on them much either.

    IMO, the only answer to this is education and teaching people to question everything. only then will they be free to differentiate between what's important news, what's propaganda, marketing, etc.
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    Mar 2 2013: As Barry Palmer has wisely said, the media is more interested in making more money and having more glory than in morals. As they say "bad news is good news".
    Bad news does create panic and fear, but the world has always been a place of faith and fear; it is up to each individual to choose of one of the two:
    1. To be inspired by faith
    2. Or to be paralyzed by fear.

    I choose to have faith.
    • Mar 2 2013: Clearly, those of the "moral panic" view, don't really trust their God. In fact, they believe in more than one god.
      Right there they are breaking their first commandment.
      Me thinks they don't really know what it is they believe in.

      Faith however, doesn't really change anything.
  • Mar 2 2013: The media has a remendous impact on public thought. How can I know what is intended. However, there is very little out there to suggest that the vast majority of gun deaths are suicides or that Mexico with twice the murder rate than America has tough gun laws like we don't. Mainly i believe that this is just another way to spread memes. However, modern sales people are now taught that decisions to buy are more emotional than rational.
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    Mar 2 2013: Read these then you might get an idea of what is happening, there is a group that will believe anything.

    http://www.theonion.com/

    http://literallyunbelievable.org/