What purpose does the media serve?

In college, in one of my political science classes we talked about the 24 hour media cycle and how they now need to fill up that 24 hours with news. No longer do you need to tune in to the morning, afternoon and evening news, its the same information repeated over and over with commentary for 24 hours till something changes. At the same time the “fluff” pieces seem to be greater since it takes less time and resources to investigate what Paris Hilton is doing as compared to a world or national topic which deserves debate .

I tend to get most of my news these days on-line though various sites such as CNN, BBC and Al Jezeera. You have to evaluate what is shown based on sources and why they are presenting the information at each site. One of the better news sites, is the on-line version of the NY Times, strangely enough. At least it makes it very easy to tell real news from commentary.

The line between “news”, what is new information and commentary has largely grown murky. It started with morning shows which offered commentary while reporting events around the world/nation/region. Now, its very hard to find a news source which does not offer commentary. I keep asking, why does anyone need someone to explain something to them. I find it hard to believe that people cannot come up with their conclusions.

I happened to just see the O’Reilly Factor on Fox a few moments ago. If you have never seen the show I would suggestion you watch it. At first it appears to be a news show but its entirely commentary on events, however instead of trying to be investigative it uses slander and misinformation to discuss topics.

So, my question is what purpose does the media serve?

In other news, Toby Keith did come by and I was able to get a picture with him. Very nice individual, went around shaking everyone’s hand. He had a concert later that night. I did not go, by the time I finished with my work, I heard his show starting but decided to just go get some sleep.

I sent off in the mail for my credit reports, something that everyone should do each year. Due to US Law everyone can get a free copy of their report from each of the three companies which deal with credit reports (this does not include your FICO score). Some states offer free reports each year or a discount from the credit companies. Otherwise, you have to pay for the report unless you have been denied credit. Since I am outside the United States I could not use the website but a phone number exists and you can also send a request in the mail. I did the later, so will see how I look here in about 15 days.


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