Assignment 10: Seeing is not believing

So many wars, settling scores Bringing us promises, leaving
us poor I heard them say ‘love is the way” Love is the answer,’ that’s what they say

But look how they treat us, make us
believers We fight their battles, then they deceive us

Try to control us, they couldn’t hold us
‘Cause we just move forward like Buffalo Soldiers

K’naan-Wavin Flag

 

James Morris, the executive director of the World Food Program quoted, “Occasionally, I have thought the worst place for a hungry child to live in Africa today is a community that is at peace with its neighbors and relatively stable” (Polman). The media will focus on more interesting regions where people want to listen and hear about. Simply crying out loud from hungry children is not enough to motivate the media to cover and feature their relatively stable and peaceful place in Africa. When more than 100,000 Iraqis died from the Iraq war, the establishment used the media for its justification. Over half of young adults Americans heard about Kony 2012 and they urged for stopping Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army. Many people including Teju Cole criticized this behavior stating Americans should worry about the mess that they have made. Should Americans get blamed? Or Were they just victims of the media just like the hungry children in a safe region in Arica?

Dear Media, please don't use their smiles to benefit yourselves. Some of us can tell the difference between fake smiles and genuine smiles.

Dear Media, please don’t use their smiles to benefit yourselves. Some of us can tell the difference between fake smiles and genuine smiles.

There are many possible answers for the questions above, but certainly people need to be more careful with information they receive and their sources. Global citizens should know about the true image of the world. They need to keep putting efforts to get genuine and accurate information as well as they have to choose sources carefully and be critical about information they encounter. The power of the media is terrifying. Compared to Korea’s corrupted media usage and manipulation, The United States’ are less subtle. Lee Myoung Bak, the 17th president of South Korea dominated the media to cover up his money laundering. During the election campaign, Lee spent a lot of money to take control major broadcasters, newspapers, and most of newspapers. Korean citizens were manipulated and brainwashed; to the point where a hidden video that proves Lee’s money laundering and his lies, was suddenly posted on the internet, but people didn’t believe. Their eyes got blinded and their ears went deaf. Lee was elected and as a result, he has been such a successful president that made a lot of money through his presidency. People regretted, but it was too late. That’s what they got for blindly believing the media and not being critical about the sources.

The media for 'us'? No. They neve cared in the first place.

The media for ‘us’? No.

When it comes down to getting information, I try to get it from as many sources as possible along with many different characteristics and tendencies of the sources. For instance, Fox News and The Wall Street Journal are conservative where the New York Times, CBS, International Herald Tribune are progressive. When I want to know about an issue that has conservative manner, I will be critical about what the New York Times says and compare and contrast with conservative sources like the Wall Street Journal. Aljazeera and BBC are fairly reliable and credible sources. However after so-called ‘Arab Spring,’ Aljazeera’s fair and equal reports and its independency have been questioned. There is no source that is completely free of bias, stereotypes, assumptions, political interests and monetary benefits. We must find our information from many different places and have keen eyes to tell the truth from the wrong.

References

Cole, Teju. “The White-Savior Industrial Complex.” The Atlantic. 21 Mar. 2012. Web. <http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/03/the-white-savior-industrial-complex/254843/2/>.

Polman, Linda. “The Crisis Caravan: What’s Wrong with Humanitarian Aid?” New York: Metropolitan, 2010. Print.

“민주, 이명박 대통령 대선자금 수사 촉구.” . SBS News, 15 Jul 2012. Web. <http://news.sbs.co.kr/section_news/news_read.jsp?news_id=N1001259956>.

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