Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Public doesn't trust media; media responds by ignoring news of this and protests as well!

According to a Gallup poll released just last week Trust in Mass Media Returns to All-Time Low.

If I was relying primarily on the mainstream media I probably wouldn't have even heard about this poll at all. They probably did mention it briefly but quickly forgot before most people even noticed, unlike the constant barrage of polls about political races that they keep repeating over and over again and people can't avoid hearing about them.

Then, on top of the minimal coverage they provided for this poll, they didn't provide more than a token amount of coverage for the major protests about the environment and climate change that took place over the weekend. I made a point of checking at least a portion of the coverage that was provided by the mainstream media on it over the weekend and in the day or two after it, and not surprisingly what I saw was minimal. On the Sunday evening local news they didn't even mention it when introducing the days headlines at the beginning; during the world news they provided about 90 seconds of it 12 minutes into the news broadcast then from there there was little if anything that I could find covering it.

On Monday I made a point of watching at least one of the half hour local news shows they provided plus fifteen minutes of a second one in the evening. They didn't mention it once, quickly forgetting it even happened; however they did have three breaking news stories during that broadcast. But none of those three were actually new stories, although two of them had updates to ongoing news stories that have been in the news cycle for at least two or three days. The world news did mention it; but they couldn't have given it more than ten seconds of their time.

I noticed that when the covered these "breaking news" stories, which weren't actually breaking at all, they had a flashing banner which I didn't notice before, either because I hardly pay attention to their increased hype or because they just came up with it.

They're replacing research with increased hype.

Do they think the public won't notice this?

They did include two stories that had serious environmental impact, at least for local residents; one about a building that was evacuated because of a nitrogen leak and another where close to a dozen cars caught fire. They reported on these two stories quickly then forgot them like any other news story. On several occasions when I wanted to find out how often some of these events happen I started creating lists of disasters like this and they quickly got very long and the only reason they didn't get much longer is that I ran out of time to continue looking for these stories.

The traditional news media has much more resources than me yet they don't come up with comprehensive coverage of these disasters and discuss how to dramatically reduce them.

But they do make an enormous amount of money selling propaganda ads to BP and other energy companies that continue running long after the public forgets about most of the environmental disasters that have been happening with minimal amount of coverage.

This isn't the first time that I have reported on the lack of coverage that the mainstream media has been providing; when Obama was being inaugurated for the second time I covered The commercial media didn’t report the Inaugural Die-In and there have been many more that I haven't been able to keep track of. This includes a major protest last March which I hardly remember any coverage of, and the full extent of the protest that took place this weekend. The protests that took place in New York were only a fraction of the protests around the world on the same day; but people that rely on the mainstream media would have little or no knowledge about that.

The big surprise shouldn't be that trust in the mainstream media is down to 40%; it should be that there are still 40% of the public that supposedly trusts the mainstream media.

This shrinking 40% must be either incredibly complacent or incredibly trusting; but the more the mainstream media ignores major stories that receive much better coverage from alternative outlets the lower that figure is guaranteed to go.

Fortunately Democracy Now has been doing a much better job covering this protest including their Special 3-Hour Broadcast of the People's Climate March. Democracy Now isn't always the best alternative news outlet but they do a much better job than the mainstream media especially when there are major protests going on and there are plenty of other news outlets that pick up where they leave off; but the least reliable sources increasingly appears to be the mainstream media which no longer even does a good job pretending to covering the news in a reasonably balanced manner.

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