Sensational

It’s one thing to wonder or suspect that the media is blowing something out of proportion, taking things out of context and twisting words to suit their own agenda. It’s quite another to know it for a fact.

Don’t believe everything you hear or read. That’s something my parents taught me from a young age. It’s even truer now than it was then I’d say. Despite that warning from my parents there have been times when I’ve gotten upset about something initially only to find out later on that it wasn’t really as it was made out to be, it wasn’t actually as it seemed at first, as it had been portrayed.

The reality is, the media outlets are businesses. Yes, they’re supposed to inform, but I wouldn’t say that accuracy is one of their strong points. It used to be that opinions were reserved for editorials. Now it seems that everything you read, see on television or online has a slant, a bias, of some sort. Even something that seems pretty straightforward may not be if only one point of view, only one side of the story, is being told. There’s a saying about there being two sides of a story and the truth lying somewhere in between. I think that’s often the case, not always, but often. But the media’s goal isn’t really to get to the truth anyway, is it? Perhaps it sounds cynical, but I think the goal, more often than not, is to create controversy, to sensationalize something, so that people will tune in, post, share, tweet, etc.

Unfortunately, if you’re the one being misrepresented then you can get hurt. You’ll likely only have to endure 15 minutes of fame (or infamy) because there’s always a new, even more sensational story around the corner, but sadly the damage is often already done.  

I have to wonder how many people have gone through such an experience, either personally or professionally, either in name or because they're related somehow to the person named or the incident being reported.  We in blogland certainly found out what it was like recently and our community was reeling.  Even if we weren't directly involved, we felt the impact, felt badly for our friends and worried that we'd be pulled into the media frenzy ourselves.  Some stopped blogging, some took their blogs private, some pulled most of their posts from view, and some chose to weather the storm as is.  And now, like when most storms pass through a community, we're left to recover and rebuild.  It will take awhile and things won't be the same as before.  But, blogland isn't so different from any other community and people here pull together when faced with adversity.  A storm may have passed through, but we still stand.

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