Social Issues / Media And The Public

Media And The Public

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Autor:  anton  05 October 2010
Tags:  Public
Words: 1082   |   Pages: 5
Views: 266

When radio became popular around the forties and fifties, it was the one source of entertainment and news that people could enjoy in the comfort of their own home. In “Radio Days”, radio was a central part of the lives of the movie’s characters, especially Joe. Today however, radio does not act as the “hub” of information, like it was depicted in “Radio Days”.

Joe, played by Seth Green and narrated by Woody Allen, had a miniature obsession with a radio program called “The Masked Avenger”, and other characters had similar fixations with different radio programs. Today the radio isn’t even considered, when people want entertainment. Television has replaced the format that radio used to have. No longer do people eat dinner and then gather in front of the radio to listen to a program. Radio had become a background soother. When driving in the car, one may turn it on and listen to it on a low volume, just so that there isn’t silence.

Aunt Ceil, played by Renee Lippin, went on a date with a fellow who ran off in the middle of the date because they were listening to a program that involved an alien invasion, and he believed every word the DJ was saying. Even though there rarely is any programming like that on the radio anymore, today people are much more aware of what they hear on the radio. At the birth of radio, everyone believed everything they heard on the radio. People have become more critical and attentive as to what they HEAR and what they BELIEVE.

In the forties and fifties radio format had mostly talk shows, news and occasionally music. Now it is almost opposite of what it was. Music has taken over radio, especially FM stations. There are news stations and a small amount of sports stations, but no more programs like “The Masked Avenger” anymore. AM stations still have some entertainment programming and NPR still has talk shows, but these stations are just no longer popular. In fact, they are a dieing breed; almost extinct.

Radio holds a place in people’s lives today that is relevant, but not central as it was shown in “Radio Days”. I believe it has become better. In “Radio Days” the character actually listened to the radio. Today people only really hear the radio. With the inventions of the TV and internet, the fact that radio still holds its own in the entertainment industry is amazing. Now that people have the opportunity to pick and choose their medium for entertainment, radio has a chance to target specific audiences, instead of targeting general audiences. Which is what I believe to be the purpose of radio. To give people background entertainment, or music to hear while performing in their daily lives. TV may have killed the radio star, but it hasn’t killed the radio.

Military censorship of the news reported in the Vietnam War, probably saved a lot of demoralization of soldiers who were at the front lines of battle. In “Good Morning Vietnam”, Robin Williams, who played Adrian Cronauer, tried to read news that was censored. The news was about a bombing in a local bar that he frequented that day. This type of news is necessary to hear, if you aren’t actually in battle, in my opinion. I think that Adrian (Robin Williams) should have listed to the censors, about that story.

Soldiers don’t have a lot to work with when they are in battle. The fact that others around them are dieing is just another fact that they would rather not hear; it is demoralizing. The Vietnam War is one that the US did not win, and I believe it had a lot to do with soldiers who knew that. In military conflicts today, news is direct. Television stations have cameras almost right in the battle. It is difficult to censor news now, than it was in the seventies. I’m sure there still is a form of censorship, but it does not come from the military, it comes from the heads of the corporations that own the television stations. Demoralization may occur on today’s battlefront, but it is not a direct affect of radio or television. If anything, people back at home who are not fighting, are more likely to be demoralized about the war from radio or television, than soldiers who are there, on the battlefront, fighting.

The “War on Terrorism” is one that has gotten the most media coverage, ever. Censorship probably occurs, but the only people who know that, are the ones who are reporting it, just like in “Good Morning Vietnam”. The old saying goes, “What people don’t know, can’t hurt them”. I agree with that one hundred percent. What soldiers don’t hear about their fellow comrades, WILL help the halt of the demoralization process.

Adrian Cronauer (Robin Williams) fought the higher ups to get the news out to the soldiers. He believed they deserved to hear everything that happened in Vietnam. I believe this thought process is one that the media is blinded by. People listen to the news to find out what is happening, but a lot of the time they listen to the news so they can hear what they wan to hear. The media’s job is to report that news. Reports that we are losing

a war are not what people want to hear. That is why there is military censorship, and that is why today, people hear what they want. In “The War on Terrorism”, we heard nothing but good news in Afghanistan and Iraq. I believe this is because after “9-11” the people of America had became demoralized. One of the only ways to bring back the moral of the American public was to report GOOD news.

Censorship may not be the best solution for the public, but I believe it is a good solution for the soldiers. Except in the case of “9-11”, where everyone had become demoralized, but the media quickly brought it back with biased news. Don’t believe some things you may see on TV, and never believe everything you hear. This philosophy is a simple one to stand by, for the public, when engaging in news, about the military especially.



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