Stop Blaming The Media
News and media are a business. It’s organized business operations function during a highly volatile period of technological and cultural changes that have prompted the development of new business models. In fact, Killing The Breeze is one of those new business models. The idea of a business is to turn a profit. In this business, you turn a profit through advertising and sponsorship. You gain advertising and sponsorship through views, listens, clicks and downloads.
What we are shown is what we want to see. To believe anything else is to believe that news and media companies do not want to succeed at what they intend to do. We see it up close. You, the public, want Kim and Kanye and fantasy football much more so than politics, finance, foreign policy and the environment. We will continue to give you the latter, but there is an increase in clicks, downloads and listens for the former.
People like to blame the media for their failures. It’s an excuse for not considering the fact that people don’t want to listen, watch or hear what you think they should be. Championing your cause by reporting or discussing what it is you specifically want is not how it works. You can’t on the one hand try to bend the media in the direction of your cause, and then blame the media if your cause fails.
Going the “media conspiracy” route completely eliminates thinking directed towards using the media for your strategic advantage. Is ownership and control of the media highly concentrated? Yes. Is the media based on advertising and sponsorship dollars making them sensitive to the concerns of big corporate advertisers? Yes. Is it biased relying on sources of information like government officials, corporate leaders, and academic experts? Yes. Does the media play a big role in setting the agenda in terms of what issues people think are important enough for the government to address. Yes. So what?
Look the media can magnify and mainstream, or trivialize and marginalize. The media isn’t the reason why some are powerful while others are powerless. Journalists and writers do a pretty good job often under very difficult circumstances. Blaming the media draws attention away from why policies and causes fail. It is a convenient scapegoat.