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· The Media
· News: Gathering and Delivering
· The British Press
· Newspaper Headline Language
· The media: print
· The British Broadcasting
· The Internet and e-mail
· Mass Media in Ukraine
24. What do ordinary people who read newspapers and watch TV programmes think of them?
A youth newspaper in Britain decided to hold an opinion poll to learn what young people think of newspapers and TV programmes. Scan the opinions and choose a person whose ideas you support or find interesting. Be ready to report to the group on why you have chosen this very person and why you find his ideas rather sound.
Torsten (Germany): I think the media are out of control. They don’t just report the news any more – they create it, too. I mean, the TV news isn’t shorter on a day when hardly anything happens, is it? They make everything seem so dramatic, too. Look at newspaper headlines – they always use words like “Crisis!”, “Triumph!”, “Disaster!” And what happens two or three days later? Everyone’s forgotten about that story and moved on to the next one. It’s crazy.
Cindy (America): In my opinion, today’s younger generation is the best-informed ever. We’re really lucky. And why do we know so much?.. because of the media. OK – not all papers and programmes are good, I admit, but so what? You don’t have to read or watch the bad ones. It’s like an information supermarket… you go in, look at what’s available and choose what you want.
Alfredo (Spain):I feel sorry for people who work in the media, I really do. They get the blame for everything. After all, they’re only doing their job, aren’t they? It’s not their fault if the world’s a mess. What they do is difficult and people should realize that instead of complaining all the time.
Barbara (Ireland):My view of the media?.. I think it’s become a Frankenstein’s monster. I mean, all you have to do is to turn on the TV to see that. All right, there are a few interesting programmes, but eighty per cent of it is totally pathetic. Quiz shows, adverts, soap operas, awful American comedies… And tabloid newspapers are no better. They’re like comics for grown-ups. But maybe that’s what people want. I don’t know. All I can say is, it’s definitely not what I want.
Marie-Louise (France): To be honest, I don’t pay much attention to the media. My parents and some of my friends say I should, but I don’t really see the point. If I could do something about all the awful disasters in the news, then maybe. I can’t, though, so why should I depress myself for no good reason? Instead I just get on with my life and try to have fun. Because that’s what really matters, isn’t it?
Guy (Britain):I’m a big fan of the news media. I think they do a fantastic job – especially on the really important stories. Take the end of the Cold War, for example. Thanks to journalists and TV reporters the whole world was able to see it happen, day by day. They’re good at covering issues like the environment, too. In fact, that’s one reason why the Green movement is so strong today. Everybody’s read about it and seen the TV pictures.
Charlie (Australia):Money. That’s what the media is all about. MONEY. The people who run newspapers and TV stations need to make a profit. So what do they do? They print stories and make programmes which will be popular. Not good necessarily, or original or even honest, but popular. It’s like eating junk food all the time – except what the media gives us is junk TV and junk journalism.
Hiroko (Japan):I use the media in different ways at different times. It depends on my mood. Sometimes I want to watch a serious current affairs programme. Other times I want to escape from reality and read about pop stars in a teen magazine. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that – it’s a fact of life. I like the media because they allow me to do both.
Which idea do you stick to? Do you have your personal opinion which is different from the opinions expressed?
Comment on the quotation:
“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go to the other room and read a book.” Groucho Marx
25. Think of some examples of these forms of media in your country. Which are the most popular at the moment? Do you read/ watch them yourself? Which are your favourites? How often can you read/ watch them?