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Resist agenda setting media

‘Media doesn’t tell how to think, but what to think about’

Published: Monday, February 25, 2013

Updated: Monday, February 25, 2013 17:02

“There is nothing to fear except fear itself.”

That is just one of the many lies my mother told me as a child.

Granted, she did this to decrease my fear and to change my thoughts to something else less intimidating.

In many cases this response is very similar to that of our media.

While conspiracy theorists everywhere just tuned in, media has been shifting beliefs and attitudes for a long time.

The purpose is to recognize that the media is regularly active in “Agenda-Setting”.  
According to Dr. Bernard Cohen, when media is involved in agenda-setting, “Two basic assumptions underlie: (1) the press and the media do not reflect reality; they filter and shape it; (2) media concentration on a few issues and subjects leads the public to perceive those issues as more important than other issues.”

In short, the media may not be able to tell us how to think about something, but they do tell us what to think about.

Understanding that those who influence our daily lives often produce laxidasical responses to situations that require purposeful responses is imperative.

To understand this better, I’ll focus on the recent series of revelations regarding asteroids.

LiveScience.com recently reported an asteroid incident that they are stating led to the extinction of dinosaurs.

According to the Chicxulub report, by physicists Luis and Walter Alvarez, this collision created a crater more than 110 miles wide.

“The explosion, likely caused by an object about six miles across, would have released as much energy as 100 trillion tons of TNT, more than a billion times more than the atom bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”

Shortly after the Chicxulub report was released, NASA released information concerning 2012 DA 14, an asteroid that passed within 17,000 miles of earth.

That meant that it was 220,000 miles closer to earth than the moon.

According to Prof. Scott Hubbard of Stanford University, a former NASA manager, “You say 17,000 miles that is huge. But remember all of those satellites out there that give us our global positioning, that tell our iPhones where we are, those are at 22,000 miles, so it is going to pass between Earth and the satellites that give us Direct TV every day. That’s a close shave.”

Interestingly, as all of this information was being made available, we saw very little about it in the media, that is until an asteroid hit Chelyabinsk, Russia on Friday.

The latest statistics show that over 1,000 individuals were injured and over 3,000 buildings were damaged or destroyed.

According to the latest NASA reports “readings from a sensor network built to detect nuclear blasts, suggest the meteor released the energy equivalent of nearly 500 kilotons of TNT. That’s about 30 times the power of the Hiroshima atomic bomb.”

While this 55-feet-wide 10,000 ton asteroid was hurdling over the city of 1.1 million not even NASA was prepared.

After reviewing its trajectory and speed, it was determined that this meteorite had no connection to 2012 DA 14.

Since this time media has focused on things like the NBA All-Star game, the Carnival Triumph saga, the Pistorious shooting and even gas prices.

While each of these stories is important none of them have the global impacts or the consequences to civilization that the meteorite collision carries.

This is an instance where agenda-setting is definitely in play.

We are moved away from universal catastrophe and told to focus on energy cost increases.

This reshaping means that we don’t address the issues that are of utmost importance, and instead look to problems that our daily lives revolve around.

It’s imperative that our future generations divorce themselves from media complacency and embrace the ability to think independently.

Resist the machine and don’t be pulled into the Matrix.



Ken Corbit is a senior communication studies major of Jonesboro.

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