Tag Archives: television

Social Media: Who Controls the Narrative?

Is social media changing the narrative? Through social media, we are able to witness everything from some of the greatest achievements in a person life, to what they are eating, to a horrible act of violence being committed. Like everything in life, there are good things that come and there are bad things that come. I will admit social media is used to display some of the most heinous crimes such as rape, torture, and murder. For these reasons, there is a fraction of the public calling for the end of live streaming through social media outlets. I fully understand why the victims and the family of the victims do not want these acts broadcast around the world. But social media gives us the news unfiltered and by providing information unfiltered this is changing the narrative.

For years the only way for us to receive news was through our local newspaper or news television network. These mediums controlled the narrative, they decided what news was worthy, how we would receive the news and when we would receive the news. Basically, we may not receive valuable information if someone else decided it was not valuable.

I understand all the arguments for limiting or controlling the information being disseminated. Safia Samee Ali of NBC News wrote an article about this topic, in the article the writer discusses who may be responsible for stopping live-streaming or is someone responsible. John C. Dvorak wrote an article for PC Magazine where he suggests that live-streaming should end immediately. I have an opposite position than John Dvorak I believe social media and live streaming has worked to black people’s advantage.

My opinion is that live-streaming and social media has benefited the black community in one specific way, it has allowed the world to see many of the things that are happening to our community. The world has been able to see the murders of Eric Garner, Philando Castiel, Walter Scott, and Terence Crutcher just to name a few. I know we have not received justice in the court of law for these murders but the country can no longer hide these tragedies from the rest of the world. Just imagine if these incidents were not caught on video, most people would not about these things, black people included. Viewing these tragedies have caused an awaking in the black community. People are starting to realize that Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Black Panther Party and others work has not been completed. The news media would not have reported these occurrences, they had no choice because the video was circulating around social media. I reside in New York without social media I probably would have never known about Philando Castiel’s murder. In witnessing these incidents I am now able to give my sons visuals of things that I have always warned them about, they understand now how to proceed with caution when interacting with the police. Social media has helped some people get their charges dismissed because their arrest was caught on video and released on social media. The police lies were exposed forcing the courts to remove charges. If the video is live-streamed the police cannot erase the video before the world has a chance to see it.

My fear is the government will find a way to get rid of the live-streaming and/or make these videos inadmissible. I have two reasons for this fear, one the videos are allowing people to win their case and even when the police are acquitted of these murders the families are still able to win lawsuits against the police department or municipal governing body. The second reason is the United States likes have the reputation of being the moral leader of the world. These videos are showing the rest of the world that the United States is allowing their citizens to be killed without

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Is News Media Evil?

The other day I was engaged in a couple of conversation through twitter, one was concerning universal health care and the other was concerning the shooting of unarmed black people by the police. My assumption was that these individuals I was in dialogue with were white but I could be wrong. During these exchanges I noticed that all the information they provided to solidify their position was information provided by some form of news media. When I began to make certain points that were not widely publicized their opinions started to shift. That got me to thinking is the news media evil or contributing to the evil.

The reason I ask this is because not presenting all the facts equally will influence people to gravitate to one side over the other. For example, the person I was in dialogue with believed that everyone was resisting arrest when these tragedies took place, so I mentioned Tamar Rice his response was that he had a gun in the playground. I then informed him that Ohio is an open carry state, in Ohio it is not illegal to have a gun. He admitted that he did not know this and that he has never heard this mention during any news coverage regarding the shooting. Then we talked about Eric Garner because he was resisting arrest and the person said he was selling illegal cigarettes. I informed him only the officer stated he saw him sell the cigarette, so where is the person he sold the cigarette to, there more than six cops there, why were there some many cops there to arrest a man for selling cigarettes and I explain to him Eric Garner had just stop some young men from fighting and the choke hold utilized is illegal. Again he admitted most of the information was new to him. Therefore the news media is not presenting all the necessary information to the public, so the public can make a well informed decision. Now there will be some media outlets who will say we did present this information and this may be true. But was this information disseminated equally and the answer is no. By omitting or down playing valuable information leads some to believe that these people are responsible for their demise. Is this the message the news media is intentionally sending to the public. By minimizing individual lives, by not provide a clear visual of the event is evil, if done intentionally.

On another note the news media is forever berating Donald Trump, rightfully so but the news media is complicit in Donald Trump’s rise to power. During the election process Mr. Trump probably received more media coverage than all the other candidates combined. The others candidates did not have ample opportunities to present their platforms. There are some people who knew very little about Trump until, the news media talked about him 24 hours a day.

The news media is no longer about news, they are about entertainment. The Flint, Michigan water crisis was going on about a year before main stream media picked up the story. The news media use to bring the information to the public not wait to the story is already popular then cover it.

Our community should not let the main stream news media cover our stories unless they are going to present all the information even-handed. The depiction of us in these forms of media are not always favorable.

The news media runs 24 hours a day. The face of evil has many different looks, so is the news media everyday evil?