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The First Amendment of the United States Constitution gives us the right to freedom of speech and freedom of press. In my opinion, these rights have been abused in such a manner that the freedom of press has been pushed beyond the boundaries of truth. I am writing to address that the media has been tailoring the news to be hard-hitting, eye-catching, and of relevance to the public while also squandering the essence of truth or, at least, stretching it far enough to obtain a large following. This practice has been ongoing for over a century and is extremely detrimental to society and how it views the world, their country, their government, and their everyday lives. I believe that the media should have a revolution of truth and begin to unbiasedly report the news in a factual way that does not force their viewers into a way of thinking that is borderline irrational and exaggerated.
One of the reasons the media operates the way that it does is because it has been operating this way for well over one hundred years. An early form of press in America, called yellow journalism, started in the late 19th century and took the streets by storm with eye-catching headlines that attracted attention from all types of people be them young, old, poor, rich, or educated. The articles behind the headlines however, had no credibility due to the fact that the topics at hand weren’t well researched. Headlines were simply created to sell papers which it outstandingly achieved in its time. One well known example was the newspaper headed by Joseph Pullitzer and William Randolph Hearst in which to push the U.S. into war with the Spanish, they posted false articles about Spain sinking the U.S. Maine even though it has later been proved that it was actually an explosion on the ship that sunk the Maine. The public became blood-thirsty and rallied to make Spain pay for “what they had done” when in reality, they did absolutely nothing at all. This goes to show that the public is heavily reliant on the news to be their source of what is going on in the world around them. Without question, society is ready to accept FREEDOM OF SPEECH 2 what ever the media has to offer as truth and the media takes advantage of this relationship where they post what they know will sell because no matter what they sell, you’ll buy without hesitation.
The media is in a position of power that they are fully aware of. If they want you to hate a celebrity, they can make that happen. If they want a specific bill in Congress to be raised to the public eye, they can make that happen. If the media wanted you to believe that in three years the country will be overrun by communist elites, they can make that happen. The point is that the media, in some fashion or another, is the ultimate source of control for the brain of society. For example, September 11th, 2001. After the crashing of the planes into the World Trade Center, all media in the nation immediately began to cover what was going on live. They did not hold back to show you the gruesome scene of the planes flying into the second tower, the animosity in the streets of New York, and even the suicidal jumpers. Weeks of media attention ensued and in a matter of time society was guided to the mindset that someone had to pay. They didn’t know who or how, but they knew it had to be done. Soon after, former president George W. Bush was sending troops to fight a war in Iraq that we later, as a society, began to regret because the media again stepped into the picture making the public believe that we were fighting an unjust war. The manipulation of the media is very evident in these cases be the articles true or false, however, if you really wanted the people to be well-informed, independent thinkers, you have to give them the facts and let them decide how they want to react to it.
I believe that the need for unbiased, reliable media sources is long overdue and that with this change in reporting, would come a change in society for the better. The media is voicing our opinions for us before we even have opinions on the subjects at hand. Articles should be given to us objectively where we are informed about what is going on and that there is no undertone that would subdue the FREEDOM OF SPEECH 3 viewer into swaying in a certain direction of how they feel about the matter. When we become independent thinkers, we become a more powerful society as a democracy. The beauty of democracy is that everyone has a voice and that everyone has the right to be heard. Freedom of press has been overriding freedom of speech in that we, as the people, are being teleprompted to say things that have already been established for us to believe in. Until we have veracity without bias in our media, we will forever be controlled to think certain ways that we are “supposed to”. Societies rules have been clearly demarcated by the media and if someone goes against the rules, no matter how sensible the argument, society will turn on said person until they conform to society’s beliefs. Society should not be one single voice. Society should be many voices, providing insight into thinking about topics in ways that are beyond fathomable. Society should be governed not by a newscast, journal, or radio show, but by the freedom of speech that we were promised under the Bill of Rights. Ultimately, the media is not entirely the problem. We have to take the responsibility upon ourselves to not be persuaded by the opinions of our sources but by the initiative of our conferences. Only then will we be able to break free from the bonds placed on our freedom of speech by the freedom of press.
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