When looking for something important to write about for my first blog, I ran across an article on The Atlantic titled “The 10 most Significant World Events in 2016.” The article began by describing how the Columbia struck a peace deal with the FARC after decades of intense and brutal fighting. The next part of the article was titled, “Brazil and South Korea Impeach Their Presidents,”and followed by, “Eastern Aleppo Falls.” This trend of news stories being about violence and the breaking apart of society continues with events such as the failed coup in Turkey, the flop of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, nuclear weapon testing in North Korea, the Brexit vote for Britain to leave the European Union, and finally, a series of presidents whose careers are largely clouded by aggression and the creation of violence.
During the protests in Ferguson, Baltimore, New York, and many other states over police brutality towards minorities, major news outlets focused on the violence and civic disruption that the protests caused. Further than that, protests were renamed as riots, and both the police force and minority people were demonized through differing media outlets.
During the course of Donald Trump’s young political career, the aggression and violence perpetrated by his supporters and his offensive comments took the majority of media attention. The Guardian’s sole focus during 2016, for example, seemed to be to sully his name through the majority of articles they put out. Regardless of whether or not the article itself was political or had anything to do with Trump, a connection was to be made in a way that lowered his reputation. Sources like FOX News, however, ignored these very same things, chalking them up to be made up stories or exaggerated by the “mainstream, liberal media,” and instead, mainly only spoke about him in a positive light, especially during the second half of 2016.
Overall, most media focuses and feeds on negativity and violence. With the number of media sources available, we are able to choose what to read and watch, which is largely based off of what we want to indulge ourselves in. If an outlet proves to be more enjoyable or agreeable, we are more likely to continue going to the same source for news. These sources, especially traditional news outlets, are as much businesses as they are news outlets, meaning that they are constantly attempting to get more viewers, so the stories they cover work to get those viewers. Violence and disunity generally create much more interesting stories, so outlets rely on those for business.
In today’s America, media is always around us, primarily because of the internet. We are constantly bombarded by information, regardless if we are looking for it or not. This continuous bombardment of media and their business-like focus on profit means that we are always surrounded by their pumped out pieces of information. So, what we learn from this is that the world is very violent and unity is a nearly impossible goal to accomplish in so many instances. People are also very interested in violence and disunity, however, and so a culture around these aspects of life is created. A culture that is created through the idea of profit and entertainment.