We had an alumnus return and talk about his experiences covering the election for Fox news. What I thought was significant was his candidness about the recent trend in media to create conflict, especially on pseudo-news shows such as MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olberman or Fox's O'Reilly Factor. In both cases, these shows focus on the polar divisions of two sides rather than the middle ground. Both shows focus on the extremes and both taylor their news to cater to a certain demographic (Countdown = liberal, O'Reilly = Conservative). This leads me to sources. As we study sociology we realize the tremendous influence that our environment has on us and that environment includes the media. We have to be aware that corporate media like Fox and NBC is designed to get ratings and increase stock value. This means we (the public, the citizens and the consumers of this media) must be knowledgable about these dynamics. A terrific example of this recently was when SHS was on Fox News the other night.
Why is this on the news and where did they get their information? Being from SHS, this is a valuable opportunity for you to see how the media take information (often from an unreliable source) and create a spectacle or controversy. In this case, Fox is getting its sources from Kevin - one student, who was interviewed in the school paper! All of a sudden, if you are not from SHS it appears that the school has a hooking up problem. The reality (as you know) is far different than how Fox makes it out to be. We are lucky to know the truth in this case, but imagine how many other stories are spun in this way and we are not on the inside to know the difference. Watch your media carefully and critically!