News Reports and Their Effects

News Reports

The news programs that we watch on Television can influence our views on world events to a greater or lesser extent – depending on some key factors.  Our world view can change how we assimilate these reports or reject them.  The credibility of a BBC TV report is likely to be higher than one from a country which is under the rule of a dictator, often justifiably so.  Unfortunately we often cast aside reports that do not agree with our world view and give them no credence.

News Reports

BBC programs are unquestionably influenced by the establishment, the producer’s and the editor’s intentions.  The presenters can use their own special skills and beliefs to further distort the original message. Although these reports can be very informative, they can often be damaging to the people or countries that are mentioned in them.  We must always bear in mind the influences that bring pressure to bear in these programs and realise that they are rarely unbiased.

News Reports

How much are our beliefs effected by these News Programs and how much negativity do they spread?  That is a big and very important question.  The personality and intellect of the viewer can dilute or exacerbate these effects.  I confess to being rather opinionated, so I prefer to use my own analytical skills or lack of them to come to any conclusions.

Those who have been “trained to conform” by their upbringing, education and social environment are often tempted to “just go with the flow”.  I would never base my beliefs on reports from any type of media. I would never be unduly influenced by them.  Or would I?  Do any of us really know the extent to which we are being manipulated by the media?

News Reports

I don’t have a favourite Television News program so my views are likely to be formed by a number of reports which I may have thoughtlessly assumed to be correct or cynically believe to be wilfully manipulated to fit in with the ethos of the television company, the producers, the presenters and above all the financial backers (whether private or public).

I heard a few snippets on the BBC News regarding the Oscar Pistorius case and came to some conclusions of my own.  Of course these were influenced by my personal opinions and experiences.  My thoughts on the matter were fleeting ones as I had never heard of this person.  He was not a celebrity in my eyes by virtue of his achievements as I did not know about them.  When I saw him I did jump to the conclusion that he would probably have the same  “celebrity status” that many europeans  claim for themselves by virtue of their origins and the colour of their skins.

This  was based on my observations during my six month stay in East Africa.  Although they did not have apartheid there, the attitude towards and treatment of these colonialists towards the African people was disgusting in my eyes.

In order to move beyond my” prejudices” and consider this case as fairly as possible, I decided to Google Oscar Pistorius, Reeva Steenkamp, his girlfriend and the South African legal system.  Now I know that he was a para-olympic gold medallist and his girlfriend was a very successful model.

What are the facts that we can glean so far?  He says that he woke up in the dark, heard a noise which he perceived to be a burglar.   He didn’t notice that his girlfriend was not in the bed. Then he took one of his guns and went to  bathroom to find that the perceived burglar had locked himself inside so he  proceeded to shoot through the door.

The “burglar” was bravely silent during the shooting and he did not attempt to have any communication with the girlfriend whom he knew could not be sleeping– seems strange to me.   I believe that most people’s first reaction on hearing a noise in their home in the middle of the night is to nudge their partner and tell them about it.

Oscar Pistorious will be able to afford the best lawyers in the country.  He is a man of influence and the likelihood of a not guilty verdict may be on the cards.  The irony is that if it had killed a burglar we might never even have heard about it.   TV News programs  exposed  some of the injustice and discrimination today.  As I was writing this I saw another snippet of the BBC news showing the South African police handcuffing a black African to their jeep and dragging him along the road.  This had been filmed by local onlookers who expressed their opinions on the corruption and xenophobia which is still rife in that country.  He later died in the police station.  This would shock  and sadden anyone with a grain of humanity but having lived in Africa it does not surprise me in the least.
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