When Stories Target The Media For A Repackaging Of Bad News

When Stories Target The Media For A Repackaging Of Bad News

When Stories Target The Media For A Repackaging Of Bad News

When you think of the recent rash of shootings across America, you immediately think of the shooter; he was, after all, the only one at the moment of tragedy. The little girls who were murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School were buried inside white dress, out of sight, out of mind. In my work, I’ve observed the helplessness and loss of family and friends as parents and families mourn their children. We live in an age of instant-gratification media that lionizes an individual to the degree that the media even risked his life to convey his message.

Who Survives The Story: It May End Up Translating Into 3 Percent Of Its Potential Impact

In the news media, the sole focus is the news and, very often, what can be learned from that news. This has the effect of driving most people to a single interpretation of a story that may directly translate into only three percent of potential impact, according to new research by professor Scott Stanford, who heads the Social Cognition Laboratory at UC San Diego’s School of Humanities and Sciences.

I Capture What I Need To Share In A Way That I Can Share Most Optimally

Stanford, whose work was published in the June 2017 issue of Communication Research, explains, “Stories are written in particular to manipulate others. One way to do that is to focus on the person at the center of the story and forget the details. Stories are often about a single event and one single person. In many cases, that single person looks like the news. But instead of focusing on facts as sources, often news stories are dependent on selective narrative—storytelling that only conveys what the news storymaker likes to say and fails to convey the true meaning of what he or she is speaking about.”

Think of the hashtag based news coverage of Eric Garner who died after being unlawfully arrested by New York City police, or any of the countless other similar stories that aired on mainstream news networks in recent memory. The real news is that the individual was a man in uniform.

Instead of discussing the status of Garner’s health or whether he was suicidal or suffering from mental illness, the media took the opportunity to exploit his alleged black-on-black crime for racial reasons, and connect his death to the wave of black-on-black killings perpetrated by white supremacists.

Who Relates To This Story Anywhere But This Person?

News stories often are very different from academic publications in their emphasis on quotidian events, according to Stanford. These events are presented as everything from the day-to-day happenings that enable us to lead “normal lives” to seismic events that threaten our sanity.” He continues, “An idea is news. It’s information. It’s a story and a narrative. If the population has an interest in any of these things, they will naturally reach an audience. If you offer to share a story or an idea, many people are likely to do so. But the difference is that when the audience includes those who are less connected to the person at the center of the story, the outcome is usually less compelling, making your story more appealing to a larger audience. And there is less of a risk of provoking feelings of helplessness and sadness among the audience.”

Here Is The Truth: Clearly Not All Of The People We Love Are Alcoholics

If you lived a life as a man with juvenile diabetes or chronic depression, and your story was a normal affair, your family might rather not hear about it. But if the patient’s circumstances were unique enough to warrant serious consideration, it is likely that families will hear about the illness because in our current culture it is universally true that the family is the center of their universe. When a family members’ life begins to unravel, it’s important that they are both respected and heard.

Making A Personal Call To “Humanism”

What does Stanford recommend parents do when a child’s illness is too specific or difficult to share with the wider family? Here is the very heart of his new paper:

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