How Dangerous is the Media?
It’s true, everyone loves to get the scoop on the happenings of the world. But the question is: Are we getting too much information? Is the media divulging too much, to the point where instead of informing; it empowers? When I say “empowers,” I mean…..”empowers” the wrong people. It brings out the negative in people – and gives ideas.
Looking back over the years to major events that have shaped our world, the media was always there covering the story and sharing every last detail about the story. They have been there to cover all the positive stories; yes, that’s true. But the stories I am thinking of, in particular, are the negative stories that have such an everlasting impact on all of us.
For those in the world who are on the brink of committing a heinous act – they are on the brink of taking that next step of causing such irreparable damage that we, as a nation, never completely heal or get over it. Yes, for those, the media can be the stepping stone that aids them in the act of crossing over from contemplating, to acting.
There are a couple of things that factor into the equation of pushing someone to the point where they make a life-altering decision of harming others. One thing, specialists have found, is that most, suffer with some sort of mental problem. They suffer with schizophrenia, or anti-social behaviors. But the other thing is; the media.
We have seen more and more, copycat type crimes over the years. Have you ever monitored the news? Have you ever followed stories where one happens, and weeks later, another similar story takes shape? It happens, and why does this happen? I’m sure some would argue that it is just coincidence, but there are plenty that would agree that many of these incidents, especially those that are eerily similar stories as the ones before, and follow closely on their heels, are copycat incidents.
Now, I am one who likes to stay informed. I want to know the latest news, but I also believe that we, as the public, don’t need to know too much. We don’t need every last detail to the point where we feel as if we were right there with those who lived through it. I do not believe that we need to be there to the point where we are actually in the head of the monster who caused the heinous crime. We just do not need to get all the dirty details, or to be an intricate part of the story.
In a world where everything imaginable is at our fingertips by way of the internet, we need to monitor and be discerning with the amount of information that is allowed to leak out. Some things just do not need to be reported. Some things need to be kept among only the authorities working the case. The general public, needs to be kept in the dark. The public needs to feel as if there is some thing missing. And eventually they will get used to not knowing every detail. Eventually they will grow to appreciate not knowing everything about the story. Right now, because the public is so used to knowing everything – every detail, they will probably feel slighted or uninformed. But that is not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes, the less we know, the better.
Details can be damning information. We don’t need to know a criminal’s every thought and every plan. We don’t need every detail to get the gist of the story. We don’t need a step-by-step play of the criminal in order to have compassion for those affected by his actions.
Some things are just better left unsaid. There was a time, when divulging too much information was considered taboo. The media wanted to keep the general public in the dark about certain facts. They were too heinous and too upsetting. Today, we feel like we are not “reporting” unless every last detail is given. We have become a society, today, that it is not considered good news unless every last, dirty detail about the criminal – his thinking and reasoning pattern, and details about how, when, why, and what, are exploited.
There is no doubt that too many details can lay out the perfect plan for the next, would-be, criminal. It can open doors to criminal behavior where had the details not been divulged, they may not have thought about committing a devious act them self – on their own.
Sometimes silence is golden. Sometimes silence is priceless. Sometimes silence can save a life, or more than just “a” life. Sometimes we, the general public, do not need to know every last detail, as if we were involved in the investigation ourselves. Sometimes information needs to be kept and left within the circle of the authorities investigating the story.
I think that if we went back to reporting on stories the way they were once reported on years back, where only the important and “needed” information was given out, maybe others wouldn’t be so quick to follow suit and copycat a criminal act them self. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe we crossed this line too long ago, and despite being discerning, there will always be copycat crimes. But it is worth the shot to find out. Who knows, it may just save some lives to keep the general public in the dark on certain details. It may take some getting used to, to go back to the “as needed” reporting practice again. But over time, it could be a good thing – to be kept, “in the dark.”