Wednesday, 7 March 2012

How the Media changes a story

In South Africa there has been furious discussion over the roll of media in the country and the Media Tribunal is just one of many aspects being discussed. The media has and always be a powerful force in the world. Especially has more and more media houses embrace the full potential of social media their power will only get more powerful.

People everywhere in the world are able to sway discussion in any direction and unfortunately the court of public opinion is where you need to win and for media houses winning means more money. It must be a difficult task to present accurate factual news but what I want to discuss is the brilliant advert below. It is by The Guardian a UK based media company.



As brilliant as the advert is, it proves how the media can turn a story into something so far removed from the core story. A case in point is the strike that is happening all over South Africa. Cosatu, the largest trade union in the country has called a strike to protest the Gauteng e-Toll project and the use of labour brokers.

Both points, that the union is striking against are hot topics of discussion and the e-Tolling is one that has earned the fury of just about all Gauteng residents. So you would think that the media would be focussing on the strike and what the strike is about. The e-Toll project has been covered extensively and continues to be.

The media are covering the strike and doing their bit, but like in the above advert, the story they are covering most is the fact that teachers are striking which obviously impacts on the education of children. The education system is now getting a lot of focus and teacher unions are getting involved in radio talks yet the point of the strike has nothing to do with education?

Do not get me wrong education is a massive priority in this country and deserves all the attention it gets but the point is media can and do twist the initial news story into something completely different. Right or wrong or I do not know but I guess that is how news rooms continue to produce news every day, even on slow news days.

What do you think about media and their power to manipulate a story?

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