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According to reports, a naked man chewed off another man’s face. The gory and frightening details of the report were shown vividly described in CNN. The…
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Blog Post: Truth and Objectivity in the Media One of the news that shocked the world is the one about an alleged zombie attack in Miami on the 26th of May 2012. According to reports, a naked man chewed off another man’s face. The gory and frightening details of the report were shown vividly described in CNN. The newscaster herself showed a hint of shock while introducing the incident. She afterward stated that the suspect was under a very powerful drug which provoked him toward cannibalism. The reporter at downtown Miami confirmed the newscaster’s statement by explaining that there is currently a drug, or LSD, that turns a normal person into a monster of some kind. Armando Aguilar, the head of the fraternal order of police in Miami, described graphically and in detail the incident. The suspect, according to him, growled when the police ordered him to stop attacking the other man. When the suspect tried to attack the police, he was shot four times before he finally went down. What is more shocking is that there were four similar cases beforehand, which all took place in Miami.
The above case is, without a doubt, a perfect example of sensationalism in the media. Truth and objectivity, which are highly cherished values in journalism and mass media andcommunication, are absent in this case. Basically, the issue of truth and objectivity relates to the purpose and significance of the news. The news about a man eating the face of another man is of course significant. But what is the purpose of CNN for presenting this news in a graphical and outrageous manner? There is one obvious answer: to sensationalize and drew the attention of the public, or, worse, to sell. In sensationalized news, truth and objectivity are halfheartedly espoused. Of course, CNN is known for its reliable and credible news reporting, but the network apparently failed to disclose the truth about this so-called zombie attack in an objective manner. With all of the odd incidents happening all over the world, people start to speculate if something strange or unexplained was causing these events. Because of news like this, gossips start to surface about an imminent cannibalism outbreak.
Apparently, there is no imminent cannibalism outbreak. And there are no inexplicable ‘something’ goading normal people to eat human flesh. The CNN report about one isolated incident in Miami is an example of how sensationalized news can incite panic; it also reveals the triviality of contemporary news media. The truth is there are a lot of mentally ill or deranged people all over the world. Cannibalism, especially in a large city like Miami, is definitely uncommon, but not that uncommon that it does not occur every so often. There is a series of odd brutal crimes taking place elsewhere. But it is just now that everybody is all of a sudden becoming aware of such incident.
The effects of such sensationalized news are detrimental to the public’s consciousness. Sensationalized news brings fear and panic and, most of the time, negatively affects people’s lives. People become more suspicious, reluctant, overprotective, and untrusting. If the objective of journalism and mass media and communication is to build a peaceful and rational world, journalists and communicators should be honest, straightforward, and trustworthy in delivering important information.
Here is the link to the CNN news report about the Zombie Attack in Miami:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhfkYQ9UfiM Read More
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