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Mass Media MadnessDr. Paul Balles Salem-News.com
Whoever controls the media, controls the mind --Jim Morrison
(MANAMA, Bahrain) - The media is too concentrated, too few people own too much. There's really five companies that control 90 percent of what we read, see and hear. It's not healthy -Ted Turner
Television anchors and their guests waste hours of viewer’s time ridiculously focused. Topics with limited importance, should not be broadly covered at the expense of the most important issues.
Guesswork predictions of potential 2014 and 2016 political candidates waste time. The presidential elections are three years away and pundits are already taking polls and showing how much they know about potential candidates.
The sexual misbehaviour of a San Diego mayor and a New York mayoralty candidate have been recent favourite time-wasters when there are more important matters to discuss.
Hours and hours, day after day have been devoted to the trials of defendants who might be guilty of hate crimes.
Useless discussions and congressional attention has been wasted on attempts by a Republican Congress to repeal the American health care bill. This is typical of the present do-nothing Congress. And the media reports it.
Gay laws in the military or states allowing gay marriage have received inordinate attention at the expense of concerns affecting many more people.
Further to how legislators spend their time, the media has been attempting to out-do Congressional time-wasters.
The public in a democracy deserve more than wasted time reporting on relatively unimportant events and concerns.
Neglected important issues
Climate change and problems--droughts, hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, wildfires, polar icecap meltdowns-- deserve much more public attention than the media provides. Much greater efforts are needed to reduce the factors that scientists have clearly identified as disastrous for the future of the planet.
Ecology issues – extinction of species, atomic plant and oil spill damage to the environment-- receive miniscule momentary attention and then are forgotten. Much still needs to be done.
Corporate control and profiteering, including NAFTA agreements that cost one country jobs and do little for other countries, need to be discussed and regulated.
American government involvement—unreasonable, unwelcome and unsuccessful—in other countries affairs, their politics, their civil wars and their economies. not only lead to hatred of America, but result in terrorist plots,
The deaths and blowback from killing innocents with drones makes America the world’s empire that the victims want to bring down. The issue gets hardly any attention from the mass media in America.
Treatment of secretive US constitutional violations, like those of the National Security Agency (NSA), deserve immediate examination and transparency.
The issues raised by whistleblowers require closer attention. “Many documents have nothing to do with terrorism or national security,” reports Glenn Greenwald, “but have to do with competition with other countries, in the business, industrial and economic fields,”
Instead of being tried in military courts, whistleblowers like Bradley Manning should be celebrated for exposing war crimes committed by the US military. Those who commit the crimes should be tried as criminals, no matter how high up they go in the chain of command.
Programmes to repair bad infrastructures – bridges, highways, public buildings—are desperately needed before neglect results in more deaths.
Giving nothing but momentary lip service to important issues has been the practice while wasting time giving greater attention to concerns of much smaller interest groups.
“Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.” --John F. Kennedy
Throughout his life as an educator, Dr. Paul J. Balles, a retired American university professor and freelance writer, has lived and worked in the Middle East for 40 years - first as an English professor (Universities of Kuwait and Bahrain), and for the past ten years as a writer, editor and editorial consultant.
He’s a weekly Op-Ed columnist for the GULF DAILY NEWS . Dr. Balles is also Editorial Consultant for Red House Marketing and a regular contributor to Bahrain This Month. He writes a weekly op-ed column for Akbar Al Khaleej (Arabic). He has also edited seven websites, including bahrainthismonth.com, womenthismonth.com
Paul has had more than 350 articles published, focusing on companies, personality profiles, entrpreneurs, women achievers, journalists and the media, the Middle East, American politics, the Internet and the Web, consumer reports, Arabs, diplomats, dining out and travel. Paul's articles on Salem-News.com are frank and enlightening. We are very appreciative of the incredible writings Dr. Balles has generated for our readers over the years, and we are very pleased to list him among our most valued contributors.
Indulging the hard subjects that keep the world divided is our specialty at Salem-News.com, and with writers like Dr. Paul Balles on our team, we amplify our ability to meet challenges and someday, will see the effects of this exist in context with a more peaceful and generally successful world.
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