What we see vs. What we get

The news has become a capitalised business where media organisations have become infatuated with making a profit rather than producing truthful stories. The constant technological changes have placed a burden on journalists, through blogs, Twitter, Facebook and other social media devices anyone can easily create or capture pivotal stories with a swipe of a finger.

It has become a concern that the diversity within mass media is dwindling and creating a serious problem towards traditional media outlets. Journalists continue to face competition from external sources as well as foreign news outlets. Foreign news is providing Lee-Wright (2010, p. 1) states “a welcome distraction from discomforts at home, but also exposes stresses and strains within news organisations on both sides of the Atlantic”. As a society our attention spans are becoming smaller, therefore resulting in media outlets needing to produce engaging, relevant and truthful stories that encapsulate a variety of emotive responses to ensure an impact. The repetition of images within broadcast news has little substance anymore (Lee-Wright 2010, p. 1).

The Arab Spring has become a generated topic amongst news sources, in 2011 when the issue was in its prime it created hysteria across the globe, Lee-Wright (2010, p. 3) recognises it as “a global youth revolt”. There is an inconsistency in coverage, often news sources now rely on well-known correspondents to create hype towards the piece (Lee-Wright 2010, p. 4).

Favoritism has become a prominent issue within the media, often news sources invest in a certain side when it comes to protests, manipulating the audience to favour those individuals rather than recognising the other party. “Studies have shown that how the media portray protesters influences not only how the public will perceive the protesters and their claims, but also whether the public will support the protesters” (Harlow & Johnson 2011, p. 2).

The media has created this concept called “frames” by initiating frames the media prohibits that audience for thinking for themselves, instead manipulating them to think a certain way about topic or issue (Harlow & Johnson 2011, p. 3) .

Protests have become an important topic within the news where frames are frequently placed within the stories. The media often portrays the darker side to protests emphasising on the violence between police and the protestors even if the protest is peaceful. This constant bias depiction has led to several individuals moving away from once credible sources like the New York Times to blogs created by independent parties where the news produced is often objective. “A third of the online audience has read someone else’s blog” (Harlow & Johnson 2011, p. 4). Although most audiences are still skeptical with blogs because the level of professionalism isn’t always present. With the current technological changes occurring, however, individuals have more accessibility to a variety of news sources allowing them to make an informed decision through critically evaluating the sources available creating a more knowledgeable and open minded society.

Harlow, S & Thomas Johnson, J 2011, β€˜The Arab Spring| Overthrowing the Protest Paradigm? How The New York Times, Global Voices and Twitter Covered the Egyptian Revolution’, International Journal of Communication, vol. 5, pp. 1379-1354.

Lee-Wright, P 2011, ‘News Values: An Assessment of News Priorities Through a Comparative Analysis of Arab Spring Anniversary Coverage’, Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, vol. 1, pp. 186-205.


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