عنوان مقاله [English]
Introduction and statement of the problem: Representation in epistemological discussions, or what has sometimes been called the Copernican revolution of Kant, maintain an idea according to which in knowing the world subject is as important as the object, if not more. The brain of the human may affect the process of recognition, and we can ask how and how much it takes place. Moreover, every instrument, such as a microscope or telescope, which mediate between brain and object, should be contained to the same test. Media is a kind of instrument intermediator between the world and us. In contemporary society, we receive more information from the media than we obtain directly from our environment. So the general epistemological suspicion can be extended to the issue of news strategy in the media. I am planning to address this problem in this paper.
Theoretical Considerations: According to the general taste, news, which includes accidents and strange happenings, are more exciting and amazing and can attract more attention. The point is that such news is so often bad ones. That is the reason why headlines are full of news of terror, war, crash, fire, pollution, traffic, scandal and so on. The media concentrate and emphasize on these sorts of news, and that is the reason they fail to do representation as they show the world to be worse than it is. Accordingly, it is fair to say the media distorts our perception, and our conception of the world is generally less real than it is really. That from the viewpoint of chief redaction and its gatekeeping what kind of news has value or is important to determine how the audience see their world. Because society gives most of its information from the media, the more news emphasis on something, the more important and even the more existent it seems to be. Therefore, the news, which is usually selected and is the subject of repetition and concentration, would influence the representation from the real world.
It is evident that news gatekeeping could be influenced by a variety of factors such as money, power, politics, ideology, and the conscious or unconscious standpoint of journalists. Nevertheless, those well-known causes apart, there is something more powerful and more hidden which influences news and thereby influence the world-view of consumers. We call it professionalism. The very professionalism which should be and seems to be against many kinds of bias, such as we mentioned above, play itself an important role in gatekeeping and organizing the choice and the priority of news and thereby is the source of a big bias. On the one hand, journalism is, above all, a profession, and in almost every profession, success requires customer orientation.
On the other hand, and methodologically speaking, the psychological nature of humankind makes us more interested in exciting news. It results in that the media tries to cover more exciting and amazing news. But not surprisingly most of the time the exciting news is the bad ones or even the worse. Usually, good things do not happen all of a sudden. It takes time for a development to be achieved or a problem to be solved, and being so they lake the potentiality of making interesting and attractive news.
Moreover, another side of our psychology or our education prepare us more to be discontent than content, so that the good things seem to be normal and the bad ones can be the source of opposition. Therefore a war, a terrorist attack, a fire, a plane crash, an earthquake, or a political scandal are much more likely to be reported as soon as possible and to be the subject of headline and repetition and the other kinds of highlighting. In doing so, media news does not represent the world as it is.
Some of the findings here indicate that there are examples even from the scientific research reports that show in what extent media choose the versions, which fortify that bias just for being more customer oriented. The news concerning environmental problems is an example. Almost every day we read, listen, and watch some news, which indicates a new bad behavior or law or strategy for the environment: the seas more polluted, the forests more disappeared, the wild animals more threatened and so on. There is rarely a report about many attempts to protect the environment. Just because news consumers psychologically and sociologically prefer to listen that politicians are doing badly and that a sort of apocalypse is coming soon. However, this is not the truth, at least all the truth. This bias is confusing and has strong negative implications, for news consumers see the world much worse than it is, and might become more depressed and pessimist and even ready to radical actions and join to the extremist parties.
Reading, listening, watching and sharing news in cyberspace is generally considered as a cultural activity or sometimes as social activism, and something to be praised. More you regularly consume news especially worldwide news more you seem to have character and to be in a good way of life. You seem to have more chance to know the world better and so to live correctly. However, this idea is based on the assumption that media in its news reflect the reality as it is. However, as we demonstrate it, this is not the case. It could even have a contrary function. With too much confidence to media and too much-consuming news, we risk to believe that world is very dark and become pessimist and distrust because the world, however, is not so good is not as bad as media news try to persuade.
The part of bad news is bigger and not proportional. Not only people do not pay attention to it, but also there is a belief that good men concentrate on bad aspects of affairs. Because it helps to be a more political and more motivated fighter against oppression and injustice, apparently being politically correct necessitates that bad aspects of social life be underlined. Although media shows, somehow unconsciously, the bad aspects of the world in an un-proportionate manner, there is a part of consciousness that approves the necessity of it.
Concluding Remarks: This paper aims at corroborating the idea that professional media, supposed to be far from those tendencies, based on very professionalism, according to which customer compliance is the first principle, produce some other kind of disturbing in the representation of the reality. Thus, the contribution of the article is that the general value, which holds that more reading/listening/watching news is a sign of a safer society, should be a subject of doubt. It can create a conduit to take in serious reform in news media strategy and/or a News diet for the consumers.
Keywords: Representation, Media, News, Bad news, news value
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