Reliability of the Media

Topics: Ku Klux Klan, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Martin Luther King, Jr. Pages: 3 (955 words) Published: April 6, 2005
Reliability of the Media
Growing up in America today means being exposed to numerous half truths. These are readily found on the television, newspapers, radio, and movies. The truth is hardly ever told in its complete form. Take for instance the local news broadcast, we watch it and take it for truth. We tend to give credibility to these newscasters based on the fact that they are representing major broadcast stations. These stations are supposed to be reliable and credible sources of information. In reality the facts are rarely ever told in complete form to the public. Bits and pieces of collected information is dressed up and edited to create a "news item". Many times a station has to retract statements due to over-embellishment. The whole point in their doing this is to maintain an audience. Movie directors are masters of this technique. Movies based on historical events usually rely heavily on dramatization. It is the job of a movie director to gain and maintain the interest of the audience. As an audience we tend to take what we view as truth. Sometimes the dramatization is so extreme that the fictionalization masks the reality. The movie "Mississippi Burning" is an example of this type of media process. As an audience we are led to believe that the story is based on real life and that these actual events happened exactly the way it was portrayed, when in fact there are great differences in the movie and what really happened. Some of the events were changed, people were portrayed differently, and heroes existed when there were none. I will attempt to show how these inaccurate portrayals of actual events can lead to misconceptions that affect our way of viewing things we do not understand. In the movie "Mississippi Burning" we see a dramatized version of a non-fiction event that occurred in Mississippi in 1964. The event that occurred in June of 1964 was the slaying of three civil rights activists. During the summer of...

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