One day during class I said that we don’t control the media, the media is controlled by companies that are looking to make a profit. My belief was strengthened this past week with news reports and pictures from Baltimore. Images of rioting, looting, arson, and violence flooded our TV screens, computers, and social media. These images gave us the impression that the whole city was irrupting with mobs of people looking to destroy everything that was in their path. All of a sudden, the story drifted away from Freddie Gray and focused on rioters. But there are images that were not shown that would make a bigger impact on the story of what happened to Mr. Gray and what the people that truly want justice are doing to get attention.
“And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the negro poor has worsened over the last twelve or fifteen years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity.” – MLK
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was against rioting. In fact, he chose the hardest path of peacefully protesting. Which makes me wonder what Dr. King would think of the times we are currently living. But most importantly, I wonder what he would think about what we TV watchers, Facebook feed readers, Tweeting fiends, Vine obsessed, and Instagram stalkers are being fed. Letting things get past a rally is simply not acceptable and it certainly will not help any side their their point across. is exactly what is happening in Baltimore.
But as viewers, how can we allow these images to take over and distract us from the true message. What these peaceful protesters want us to know is that they are tired of senseless police brutality and they want answers why circumstances like this are overlooked in the justice system, making the victim become another statistic.
So I just have to ask myself, isn’t that the real news? This family just lost someone and they don’t know how and why it happened. Instead, the media focuses on a story that will distract us from what this news story was about in the first place.
“I’m hopeful that by giving people an outlet that will be peaceful and organized, that we can show the power of the community and clearly demonstrate the priorities and the demands without resorting to violence,”
Alex is not alone in the way she thinks. There have been peaceful demonstrations through out the country, one was even held last Wednesday in Minneapolis. I had the chance to attend and witness what a peaceful demonstration looks like. It was a collection of people form every background, race, and age, coming together to show solidarity with the demonstrators in Baltimore. There were about four helicopters hovering over the park. All of this caused minor attention in our local news.
What are we becoming exposed to every time we turn on the the TV? How difficult is it becoming to find more than one side to a news story? And how do we know we are getting the full story? I will admit, I didn’t notice anything was wrong with our news until this past year. I just hope that we are always able to find the truth, some how.