The mass media has been our reliable source of information and entertainment. In addition to providing the society with entertainment, the media has continuously educated and provided us with both old news and latest happenings from all corners of the world. Due to its ability to capture our attention and communicate to us about what is happening in our surrounding, the media has enabled the world to become a global village.
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The media has focused on providing the public with news, which captures the attention of different audience. In its attempt to keep the society informed regularly, media representatives such as journalists have done everything to enlighten us about the most captivating stories. By so doing, the media has created spotlight fallacies. In this discussion, I will focus on how the media is full of fallacies.
Fallacy in the media’s spotlight is a situation in which the public makes a general assumption based on how much a particular topic in the media receives coverage. The television is one of most common forms of media and almost everybody around has a TV set at home. Unlike internet, Television is common and many people can access this technology easily. With a Television, an individual can be able to know what is happening in his surroundings.
However, most of the media coverage is fallacious. In its attempt to provide the public with news and entertainment, the media tends to cover events, which are less likely to occur and are not even common in real life situation. In fact, the media has made this error in many cases. Because of this, many people actually believe that those events that are regularly reported by the media are common in real life situation. Well, this is not true in most cases.
To support my argument, I will provide several examples and explain them as I explore the topic extensively. To begin with, the media seems to cover those stories that are interesting especially those that are likely to capture public attention. One example of a common story in the media is crime.
The media has a tendency of covering stories about crime making the public to have the perception that crime is very rampant in the society. In most cases, we see and even read from the media about crimes happening in the streets of New York. Because of this, we assume that New York City is the most insecure place in the world. However, because the media does not report on non-crime cases in New York City, we tend to have the perception that New York City is a very dangerous place. Without a doubt, this reasoning is fallacious.
Another example is how the media portrays cases of school shootings. The media tends to focus on this topic so much that parents are worried about issues of security and safety of their children. When a single case of shooting happens in our schools, the media tends to emphasis and focus on this event to a point that the public assume that cases of school shooting are very common. Reasoning this way is categorically fallacious. However, the truth of the matter is that cases of school shooting are very rare and only few happen in a year.
Another story that has hit the headlines of newspapers and our Televisions is the issue of plane crash. Time to time, the media has focused so much on cases of plane crashes more than cases of car crashes. In fact, quite a good number of individuals are so scared of flying due to overwhelming coverage of such events whenever they happen.
Whenever such an event happens, the media focuses on it so much that we the public tend to believe that cases of plane crash are rampant and common. Reasoning this ways is fallacious. The truth is that cases of cars crashing are so common more than cases of plane crashes. In fact, an individual is more likely to die in a car than in a plane.
Lastly, people love to hear stories of hope. Because of this, cases of miracle are mostly reported on the media. If you turn on your TV on a Sunday morning, you are more likely to see miracles happening almost everywhere around the world.
However, it is very hard to find stories on the media about people who have been prayed for but later died. In most cases, we only assume that when people are prayed for, they are healed completely. The spot fallacy in this case makes us believe that when people are prayed for, miracles happen and such individual are healed completely.
In summary, fallacy in the media’s spotlight is the assumption that what is widely covered on the media about certain category is a representation of the whole group. This perception and picture portrayed by the media is sometimes very misleading. This is because the public tend to believe in what is portrayed by the media. The truth of the matter is that, what is commonly covered by the media does not necessary reflect real life situation.