After discussing media effects such as active viewing and the passivity theory in class this week, I began considering how society affects local news. Many people claim that local news is more propaganda than actual necessary news, but are audience and society demanding these kinds of thoughtless stories without even knowing it?
You may be wondering how I even got on this rampage, of sorts, so I'll tell you....my apartment was burglarized on Tuesday. Over $12,000 worth of stuff was taken, including all six of my boyfriend's guitars, a piano, a drum set, a lot of our clothes, shoes, an original Nintendo, jewelry, pictures, towels, kitchen utensils...you name it.
While I understand that robberies, even as large as ours, happen often. However, the news rarely reports on it. As everyone knows, as it gets warmer in Milwaukee, it seems like crime skyrockets. So over the last few days, I have seen a lot of things (like tarps covering two bodies on North Ave. as squad cars blocked off the whole street last night) that have not been on the news, or even online. What I'm asking is does society prefer to hear sensationalistic stories like the Fonz statue in Milwaukee or do we like to hear about real news, like crimes and deaths? While I think that these things are important, I also realize that they could be disheartening, and I'm sure that no news channel wants to constantly showcase the bad things. However, I think that a lot of audiences are blind to what really happens in Milwaukee because the stories are never told.
About seven police officers and detectives were at our apartment this week. As we chatted with them, they told me horrible stories like murders, suicides, drug busts, etc. that I have never even heard about. Why not? I want to know why local news outlets don't tell us these stories!
What do you want from your news? I want the truth...true stories that open our eyes to what is really going on in our neighborhoods. I couldn't care less about a statue of the Fonz! Maybe we also need to consider how audiences are reinforcing their acceptance of local news by continuing to enjoy these stories rather than voicing our opinions on what we really want to see.