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The other problem here...

  • I have to rant. i hope you will read it.

    While the subject of child sex abuse has rightly gotten a ton of attention as a result of Sandusky's actions, raising much awareness on the subject, there is another aspect to these tragic events that is really, really bothering me. The media. And I don't mean the people involved in the media. Technology has enabled a new era of media/journalism and transformed the way the consumer consumes. As consumers have gotten more and more accustomed to constant and real time news via the internet and mobile technology, publishers have had to respond by lowering their quality standards, shortening their messages, targeting to more specific audiences (which is why the political press has become so much more polarized), shortening their cycle times, and raising their shock value in order to compete for attention against a massively expanded group of competing writers. Responsible journalism isnt outselling rapid release shock value. That is the first part. The second part of this problem is Digital distribution, especially through Facebook and Twitter. Think of these distribution channels as the modern day paper boy. Instead of daily papers delivering one set of thoroughly vetted messages each day, these new distribution channels allow messages to be released to the world at any time, all the time, anywhere. So now you have a less accountable press with the tools to more easily distribute their less accountable content. The third part of this problem is the way in which the public is now essentially able to alter a narrative, again because of technology. All it takes is one person on social media who craves attention to attach a little bit of their own shock value to a story in front of all of those in their sphere of digital influence, and suddenly you have a whole group of people who are jumping on the bandwagon and basing their understanding of the facts off of bad journalism and a social media super star who is more concerned about getting people to read his/her tweets then getting their facts straight. And then the cycle repeats itself, and the misinterpretations compound on top of each other. And this brings me to the final problem, which is the problem I think we (meaning our country) can do something about. People are still looking at the press in the same light as they used to, meaning they're taking them for their word, as if the press is still getting it right almost all the time. This just isnt the case anymore.

    These problems are ultimately why JoePa's name, one of the most respected names of any US citizen in the country, was so quickly pulverized. That should really scare you folks. Think about how powerful of a force that is. What it tells me is that our media system has now become far too powerful, and is a very serious threat to the future health of our country. In the same way that awareness is being raised for child sex abuse, I can only hope that somehow people begin to become more aware that the things they read in the press, and in social media, can not be assumed to be the truth. Only when the general public begins to think in this way will journalists and social media superstars begin to think through what they're writing and make sure they get the facts straight.

    Now a question for the group. How many people on here have been enjoying Jay Bilas's tweets aboutt the ncaa in the twitter thread? Do you think that guy has all the facts? Absolutely not. And he is absolutely destroying the ncaa over this Miami story despite that. I thoroughly ejoyed the tweets until I realized that I was doing what every non penn stater was doing when they were reading about the scandal at our beloved university. And then I wrote this rambling post:). Sorry.

  • Excellent, excellent post. I agree 100% on all of this. Ever since this whole thing began, I've really stepped back to look at all the things you talked about. It is indeed scary how much power the media really has when you think about it. And I love the Bilas analogy because you caught me there the same way you caught yourself. More people need to learn to think critically this way. I fear that people have lost the ability to think for themselves.

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  • Man, you really gotta utilize paragraphs more on message boards. That wall of text is really discouraging to look at.

  • I couldn't agree more with you. The problem is people are either too stupid, too lazy, or don't have the time. I mean I know I can't research every story out there. However the media should that is their job. Nothing will change and things will only get worse. We are in trouble as a society.

  • Would be an interesting idea for a tv show.. I know a lot of writers in tv land slave for material for their shows, well now there are thousands of stories, reports, articles, and video that report on a version of the truth or spout complete lies. Just need a witty host and a way to illustrate how the mainstream media are a bunch of dumb wits and I'm sure people would start tuning in and think twice about what they are reading.. A powerful documentary would do the trick as well...

  • Two words to back up your point - Jeremy Schapp. Although there are a lot of ass hats in the media (Mark May comes to mind), Schapp is the one guy who spews so much incorrect information and people assume he is right because he is an investigative reporter wearing a nice suit and tie. That guy has done more damage than anyone IMO. If he talks about PSU for 10 minutes, he will say 10 things that simply are not factual.

    Colin Cowherd took the cake though IMO when he said last week that "Paterno should have fired Sandusky" when MM told him of the shower incident. Really?? Media zombies across the nation don't realize he was not a coach then and the notion of "Paterno should have done more" is further cemented.

    IMO, because there is more competition in the media because of technology, getting the story out first now trumps getting it out correctly.

  • “The media's the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses.” ― Malcolm X

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    "I like your head, it's a good look." - James Franklin, to a bald reporter asking a question.

  • NevadaNittany

    Im not sure I totally agree here.

    A reporters opinion in 2013 isn't going to differ to much from an opinion of a reporter in 1990. Back before social media, a reporter had to work a lot harder to get information on his story. Just because newspapers get published once a day doesn't mean reporters weren't under the same pressures to hurry up and get their information out in the next days paper just like his competitors.

    If your going to call on new day technologies as a problem you also have to point out the good they do in making information so much more readily available.

    Media types will always push their own agendas, always have, always will.

    Yes, the media gets alot wrong, and I would agree it has to do with the constant media stream caused by today's technology. News/Opinions are in your face all day long now so non-factual stories/statement happen to fall in with that. BUT...not all reporters are Colin Cowherd and Jeremy Schapp.

    Your point about Bilas is dead on though. We love this social media when it was attacking on OSU and when people tear apart Emmert, But yet we get so pissed off at anyone who bad mouths Penn State. We are all one side or the other when it comes to social medias worth, just depends on your personal alignment with the story at hand.

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by NevadaNittany 14 months ago

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    BacardiBuckeye: "But in all honesty I like Penn State, I want to see Penn State do good that's why I check this board everyday." 4/2/14

  • Good points for sure.

    The media is a product of the "I need it now" society.

    When we grew up, we didn't have 24 hour news, facebook, Iphones, etc...and I am not saying my generation was better. But there was a certain respect and work ethic that existed that appears lost now.

    No one likes to accept responsibility or take accountability for their actions either. I see it with my 20 y/o nieces. If they do poorly on a test or in a class, it is because of the teacher, or they were soooo busy. It's never their fault.

    The problem is that things will only get worse. People are raised in day cares, don't read, don't go to church, or even communicate anymore. I walked into a restaurant the other night and there were about 20 people waiting to be seated. All but 2 of them were on their phones texting or playing Temple Run.

    So, don't be surprised by the lack of actual journalism. Other than a few, there really aren't any true writers or researchers remaining.

  • Good counterpoints here NevadaNittany. I think the one thing that is clearly different today though is the sheer speed at which a story, in many cases the wrong story, can take hold in the public. Before you know it, its too late and the damage has been done. There is no longer time for course correcting in this media system.

  • 100%... Paterno's reputation was destroyed by 9:02 the day of the press conference. Even if people wanted to read the Freeh report and draw their own conclusion, which virtually no one in the mass populice would, their opinion would already be swayed by Freeh and the media piling on. The media took Freeh at face value and never went back.

  • I think the fact that Joe is THE focus in all of this is enough to show how the media controls people's minds. I've said before, Joe might very well be culpable in this, but there are about 8+ people who would be much more culpable. If Joe knew enough that he should have gone to the police, given that McQueary told him the fewest details of all the people he told, then why didn't Mike, Mr. McQueary, Dranov, Spanier, Curley, Schultz, go to the police? Why didn't the janitors, who either saw or knew about an incident a while back go to the police?

    Nobody outside of Penn State talks about anyone but Joe. And when anyone brings up those people, they always say "well, they're just as much to blame as Joe." If you have to be reminded to blame them, then they obviously aren't actually seen as guilty.

    IMO, Joe's culpability has been greatly sensationalized simply because he was the face of Penn State.

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  • And, while you are talking culpability, i believe TSM, DPW, etc. all deserve the greatest culpability...and there is silence regarding this.

  • I wasnt following Bilas, but in catching up on the story of the paraolymian(sp?) or whatever, I found myself coming to conclusions based on whatever report I was watching. Then the reporter started to glaringly show the lack of solid facts at this time with much of what went on and I quickly reined myself in.

    I like to think I do a good job of reining myself in in nearly all cases where judgement could be cast. I am not one to comment definitively on things very often on very little info unless I clearly state it is such, and even then I make my stance known as being alterable.

    But I was being swayed this morn, and I watch myself on this. Too many dont have the desire to stop the rush to judgement, or they just dont realize that they are only being fed parts of things, oft times sensationalized. The ignorance with this should be pitied some, but I the greater 'evil' here is that so many are now almost conditioned to just accept they are being told the truth in its entirety. Its sad in a lot of ways imo

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    Suck It Emmert!! and "Sorry for not being sorry for being a Penn Stater" - Philafan

  • Excellent post. The fact that traditional press is not very profitable feeds into the misinformation since little resources are committed to a given story - instead many journalists just regurgitate the "conventional wisdom".

    It is possible that with so much of this ending up in the courts that we might get a more thorough examination of the facts which can bode well for us (trying to look for the silver lining). That is of course unless that institution is shot as well (pessimistic side again)..

    This post was edited by RRR56 14 months ago

  • I couldn't agree more. Ray Lewis will have a statue and JoePa does not. Why? The media.

  • A recent story that comes to mind that was butchered by the 2nd with infactual errors and continues until this day, other than the PSU story, was the Newtown Shootings.

    I watched the entire thing on TV that whole day and the next, and was amazed at how wrong they got things. Of course, I didnt know at the time and I was relaying this info to other people as it was being broadcast across every network so I stupidly assumed that numerous people got correct info (shouldve learned after Nov. 2011). Its tough to learn to not just take info you see/read and spread it. It sucks when its infactually incorrect because opinions get formed so quickly.

    The killer's brother whose picture was plastered all across TV, social media, internet as the killer comes to mind at how insane it is to release info that you arent 100% sure on. Yes, the shooter mightve had his brother's ID, but they very clearly looked very little alike yet it was released somehow that the brother was the killer. His life is obviously messed up by what happened, but the media driving the story that he was the killer definitely wont help things.

    This post was edited by tmaluchnik 14 months ago

    "Whoever’s trying to kill me isn’t getting the job done. But one day, I’m going to punch that f___r in the face." -Mike Mauti

  • Yep. Journalism is crap. Not much more to say. If you are believing a guy at a desk in a nice studio, or someone at an alleged "respected" paper these days, you really haven't been paying much attention to what's been going on..Sad

  • I agree with op and disagree with Nevada. Sure, we need to step back and learn from this....regarding osu analogy, but the main theme is that the media is worthless for actual facts. I think in the 70's-80's ( can't go further than that due to age) there was the same rush to be first and agendas were very evident. But very rarely did you see such blatant errors published by your major media outlets. You lays had your rogue small time media outlet trying to get attention by yelling the loudest, but quality journalism was much more dominant. Espn really takes a hit in my opinion by letting guys like cowherd represent their name. Guy has no playing experience, consistently gets facts wrong, and refuses to even hear arguments against him. To me, by keeping guys like him( I use him as an example, there are plenty more) you really tarnish your company, if its sports journalism your claiming to be at the forefront of. He's much closer to a shock jock, think Howard stern, than he is a Dan rather. He's laughable and really makes espn look foolish....and this is not just because of psu, he's pretty much throwing up on every subject he discusses. Guys like this didn't work for credible news sources back in the day, they were afterthoughts, obviously not today