Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Media Priorities

Hannah Montana made it to Rochester during an almost blizzard and out again. I don’t know who Hannah Montana is, but I’m glad she made it safely to and from Rochester. I know this because the local news was saturated with this topic all weekend. I could not find, however, a story about the climate talks in Bali, where the US dragged its feet on coming to an agreement with the rest of the world on curbing Global Warming gases.

Wait, it was mentioned here: ENVIRONMENT: You're getting warmer - News & Opinion - Rochester City Newspaper

I’m wondering what goes on in the minds of the editors of the media sources in our area. When I asked around to those who listen to local news, I found nobody who had any idea what Bali was or what was going on there last week. This is odd considering that in less than 24 hours, the Federal Communications Commission plans to vote through rules that will let the largest media companies swallow up more local newspapers and TV stations. This is the Media Ownership Act of 2007 (S. 2332) where the FCC made a token attempt to receive public comment on this issue and despite questioning by Congress on whether they even listened to the public concern about merging media companies, are pushing like mad to get this bill passed.

How has it come to pass that we have decided that it’s far more important to inform ourselves about the movements of a pop star than even mentioning that our environment is in deep trouble and our country, which releases more green house gases than any nation in the world, refuses to set limits or work with other nations? Check out this story from the NY Times: Bali Climate Talks - Global Warming - New York Times or any of the listing I've placed on my blog, Environmental Thoughts.

These are strange days indeed. I guess to some, like media editors, environmental matters, like sustainability and the survival, are now assumed to be patrician issues and they’re squeamish about the objectivity problem: If the media mentions that Global Warming could radically change our way of life and that our present administration refuses to help find a solution with other nations—they would have to trouble themselves to find someone to argue the opposite position. Of course, that is becoming increasing hard to do because most of the nation of the world and most of the scientists in those nations know Global Warming to be a major threat.
Here’s my point: As our mainstream media consolidates to save itself from making smaller and smaller profits, we the people are going to become more and more inundated with media views that don’t conform to reality. Environmental issues, which seem to threaten corporations, will be mentioned less and less, though they rise in importance around the world.

The world is watching us and they must wonder how such a rich, intelligent, and powerful country can have so many people who don’t even care about the planet they share with others. But, we sure do know about our pop stars and which sports heroes take what performance enhancing drugs. We are going on our merry way in this country oblivious to the looming environmental crisis of Global Warming and what other nations think of our dismissal of it.

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