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  1. #1
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    Default Is the Television and News Print Media Right in what they print?

    It has happened before 9-11-01, but it seems more pronounced now. Should the television news media and print media tell the public (and the terrorist at the same time) on still how unsafe security is at airports and public buildings. By this, I mean if you watch the shows like Dateline, 20/20, and 60 minutes as well as read the papers, you see stories about lots of people still getting on planes with weapons and other deadly devices. They tell how sucide bommbers make their bombs and where to find this information on the web. Also, when a firefighter or some public servant does something wrong they often make it seem that all public servants are all bad. They print and televise these stories under the guise of Freedom of the press and the public's right to know. I know that we would all like to know what is going on in the world. But, most terrorist and other militant groups watch the same shows that we do. In the past many arsonist and serial killers have gotten ideas for the media. Should the media be giving the bad guys ideas? I would like to know some of your opinions.
    Larry Cook
    Last edited by larrycook; 06-11-2002 at 07:52 PM.


  2. #2
    Forum Member firemangeorge's Avatar
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    Default Where do I start?

    I find it interesting that the media in general portray anyone who believes that the constitution guarantees the right to keep and bear arms as a "gun nut", and anyone who believes that the term "separation of church and state" does not occur in the constitution as a religious fanatic, yet they run around irresponsibly spouting misinformation and dangerous information all in the name of the freedom of speech, the first amendment.

    The pen is mightier than the sword, and he who controls the media, controls the thoughts of the people. It is a sad situation.

    On an interesting side note, the term "separation of church and state" does indeed occur in the constitution of the now extinct United Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR). Mmmm....
    See You At The Big One

  3. #3
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    I reckon that the media wether it be the newspaper or t.v. does what most of the americans want. I do not agree with all that they report such as you have mentioned, however, like I said the people must want it cause they are still buying the papers, and still watching the news media. Most Americans wan to know what steps the government has been doing to upgrade the security of the country, as well as what steps the airports and such have taken.

    As I said, I also do not agree with what they print or show. IF the papers didn't print it and the news did not show it, do you think these terrorist or others who want the information could not find it on these tools.

    I aint a likin it. But how do you stop it???????


    KEEP DOING IT FOR THE RIGHT REASONS!!!!!!!!

  4. #4
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    Just a couple of quick comments on this. First, the reasons behind reporting how unsafe our security is at this time are twofold. The more responsible reason is that without constant reminders of the shortcomings of our security, the public would not demand higher standards for it. Second, and the main reason for the media, if you are afraid of what might happen with low security, you will watch the news/buy the paper again to see what to do next and if it is all better yet.

    One other thing, I have never seen a news report about a bomb built with info from the internet, tell you where the web site is or how to get the info yourself. Lets give the pinhead news directors some credit.

    The media's view of emergency responders (fire, PD etc.) has always gone up and down, and the public's opinion of us right along with it. I would recommend reading Ben May's article in this month's Firehouse about the ups and downs of our popularity.
    "What makes a person run into a building others are running out of?...Character."- Dennis Smith

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  5. #5
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    Default Most of the Media sucks

    In my expierence with the media its what they think is right and no matter what you say they will do what they want. i have just started on the fire dept im with and right before a firefighter got hurt bad, well lets just say the media twisted what happened to him, and even after talking to the family and dept they released his name and other personal info even after being told not too.

    and for my other job i work for a police dept, myself and 6 other people almost got cut and the news cut that up so bad we almost did lose our jobs becuase of what they miss reported, so i think the only good most media is, is scaring people and reporting the bad stuff that happens

  6. #6
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is the Television and News Print Media Right in what they print?

    Originally posted by larry cook
    They print and televise these stories under the guise of Freedom of the press and the public's right to know.
    Larry...under the guise of? How about as guaranteed by the US Constitution.

    THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES
    We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.


    Amendment I
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    ----------------------------------------------------

    The alternative ladies and gentlemen...is having the state or government dictating what you read and hear from news accounts.

    Posted by fireman george
    they run around irresponsibly spouting misinformation and dangerous information all in the name of the freedom of speech, the first amendment.
    posted by dustman
    the only good most media is, is scaring people and reporting the bad stuff that happens


    I agree, there are some problems with individual news organizations and reporters. But some of your posts imply that ALL media organizations are awful. All members of the media aren't irresponsible. They don't all misreport. They don't all misinform. If you have specific instances of irresponsible media...limit it to that organization.

    You should be thankful that our press has these rights. Imagine a Chernobyl type incident happening here...and the government not allowing the press to report the facts accurately. As it stands...you have the right to believe what you read and hear..or you can shrug it off. At least you have that option.

    Some peoples are TOLD what they should believe.......is that a viable option?
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  7. #7
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    Default The Press - Their Limitations

    I can see a bit of both sides on this issue: I've been in fire/EMS for nearly 20 years and seen many occasions where press accounts of incidents didn't match what I knew from having been there and one of my best friends from high school & college is a TV news director. Here's what I think comes into play:
    • The press is almost always reporting based on very limited knowledge. They're not firefighters, EMT's, or cops, so they don't have a solid base of understanding of what we do. They're under deadlines - so they package and report what information they can gather quickly, usually based on short interviews with folks.
    • In order to be successful, they have to attract an audience. That causes them to focus on things that will catch the public's interest: action pictures, controversy, anything that might make someone watch/read just a bit longer.
    • They're used to people concealing things from them, so they often start with a bias that "there's something bad I'm not hearing" - similar to what we tend to think when we ask "how much have you been drinking" on an EMS call.
    • Since they have no background, they think whatever they see or hear for themselves is the whole story - even though it usually isn't.
    Where I net out is that I've seen much ignorance & short attention span than malice or bias. I have seen some disregard of privacy in the interest of capturing a "great photo" etc. This really isn't that different than much of the public we deal with.
    Proud to be honored with IACOJ membership. Blessed by TWO meals cooked by Cheffie - a true culinary goddess. Expressing my own views, not my organization's.

  8. #8
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    Well stated Ohiovol_ff/emtp and NJFFS_A16. The media may not be perfect and they are certainly not experts looking for an in-depth answer/story (the quick sound bite w/flashy picture sells). Remember they are serving up what we are buying. If we, the people, don't like it - we can stop watching/reading/listening. Supply = demand. Change demand and I will bet $$ that the supply will change to reflect the demand.

    The side note mentioned is worth noting as well. Indeed the Constitution does not expressly mention a separation of church and state but if you read the first part of Amemdment I (thanks NJFFS_A16) it does talk about laws respecting the establishment of religion or its free exercise.

    Amendment I
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech,or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    This has been interpreted by the courts and many Constitutional scholars (this would include the framers/authors of the Constitution who discussed the idea) to mean that the gov't shouldn't have ANYTHING to do with favoring ANY religion. Promoting Prayer, the Ten Commandments, etc. can all be seen as treading into this sensitive ground.

    I don't want the government any more involved in my life than they are already - that includes limiting free speech, favoring religion A over B, etc.

  9. #9
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    NJFFS_A16,
    You are right, I should have said some ot the news media will slant their reports, not all. I know that when a public servant does something wrong many citizens will talk about what they heard thru the media and some even look at local people and wonder if some of the local responders are guilty. i guess that this is just human nature. I do know that wrong information can hurt people. When I worked as a medic, we were told and it was stressed really big that a patient's confenditalty was of the upmost importance. I sometimes wonder if that also applies to the news media. One thing that I will give the media credit for was during World War 2 when they were given the information of the invasion of Europe and asked to keep it quite, they did. I do hope that we get some opinions from other folks.
    Larry

  10. #10
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    Default NO and it is OUR FAULT!!!

    We, the fire service, are a closed socioty. We always complain about the media not covering our big one or messing up if they do but if you set up a time for reporters to come by the station to see what WE DO . . . {echo} everyone runs and hides. We don't tell them how we operate or why we do what it is that we do.

    Lets face it. Most of us don't live in major media markets with a half dozen local tv stations and 2 or 3 local papers that have hundredss of experienced staff reporters. My district covers Penn State and the local paper is a stepping stone into a larger news media conglomerat. So it is not unlikely to have a reporter come to a fire call with NO experience covering this type of event.

    I remember a few years ago when we had a building fire. On the cover of the paper was a photo of our tower's bucket with some water driping from the protection nozzle under the floor. The caption read, "Fire fighters use crane with garden hose do douse flames."

    I think that the two cities that probubly have the best and most positive coverage would have to be the Phoenix Fire Department, Arizona, and Miami's Metro Dade which runs a media fire college weekend for local news reporters.

    We also have to remember that the news in business. The business of selling papers or air time and a nice juicy controversy would almost definitely be the lead or be "above the fold"

    Keep Safe and remember . . . IT IS FOR THE RECORD!!!!


    James

  11. #11
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    I just posted my thoughts about another subject in the recruitment category, but you are deffinitely right. The media is having a positive and negative effect on how we do everything in the United States. We are too ignorant for our own good, and we forget incidents which change the face of our nation. Media goes too far and they never really regret it.

    One of the guys I served in Iraq with was asked about the recent kidnapping of one of our journalists... He said " You dont stop at anything for a story and You make it Even harder to keep ourselves (US troops) safe, you shouldnt be here(Iraq)."

    I think that at somepoint there is going to be another amendment or something stating what is suitable for the media to report or say some type of discretion laws.

  12. #12
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    The media is not a monolith. The "media" is by and large a business, and not a public service. We are frustrated only when we choose to see them solely from our perspective or through rose-colored glasses, and especially when we fail or ignore to properly engage them on a daily basis in pursuit of our mission.

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  13. #13
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    If information is in the public domain, meaning that it is published openly, or it occurred openly, or it could be investigated using sources that are legitimate and truthful, then by God, no one should prevent the press from doing their job. The press actually hs an obligation, in that regard, to keep the public informed. If the news isn't necesarily positive, oh well.

    If a news event is happening, the press again has an obligation to keep the information coming. If you as a FD choose not to cooperate with the press, you reap what you sow. They have a job to do. You would be surprised how simple it is to build a positive relationship with them.

    Where I have a major problem is with news outlets like the New York Slimes printing information that is not attributed to a specific source, exposing programs that are being used,appropriately and clandestinely, to get intelligence in war time. It is, without question, treasonous.

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    MembersZone Subscriber E229Lt's Avatar
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    I sat back and watched the movie "Network" last night. I suggest everyone watch it again and pick out all of the events going on today in this 30+ year old movie.

  15. #15
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by E229Lt
    I sat back and watched the movie "Network" last night. I suggest everyone watch it again and pick out all of the events going on today in this 30+ year old movie.
    I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!
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    I think that at somepoint there is going to be another amendment or something stating what is suitable for the media to report or say some type of discretion laws.
    And that would be wrong. Freedom of the press is a beautiful thing. There are already provisions to protect things deemed secret by the government. This does not allow for government to cover up illegal actions, simply by calling them "secret" or "classified." For instance, Bush's illegal spying program. Completely illegal, these actions could not even be openly opposed by congressional members because of their "classified" status.
    The pen is mightier than the sword, and he who controls the media, controls the thoughts of the people. It is a sad situation.
    There are plenty of media outlets that offer real journalism and honest reporting. They can be reliable sources of information, unlike the corporate propaganda machines like Fox, which spew more half-truths and misinformation than you can shake a stick at, sexed up in their red, white, and blue thirty-second soundbites. Even other corporate cable media outlets like CNN and MSNBC have followed suit, doing whatever it takes to make a buck. This is not reporting the news; it's sensationalism and running commentary on the news parading as journalism.
    Attack this crap all you want, but leave freedom where it belongs. Censorship in any form does a disservice to this nation.

  17. #17
    Forum Member RspctFrmCalgary's Avatar
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    Some things never change ... the original post was made in 2002 but can surely apply to today and will undoubtedly apply 10 years from now.



    And on a side note - GASP! An old thread that WASN'T brought back from the dead by JOSHIE! Who'd a thunk it! hehehe
    September 11th - Never Forget

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    Quote Originally Posted by RspctFrmCalgary
    Some things never change ... the original post was made in 2002 but can surely apply to today and will undoubtedly apply 10 years from now.



    And on a side note - GASP! An old thread that WASN'T brought back from the dead by JOSHIE! Who'd a thunk it! hehehe
    Damn! I was so excited that Ed was back that I never looked at the date. Oh well!

  19. #19
    Forum Member DennisTheMenace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleman
    .

    There are plenty of media outlets that offer real journalism and honest reporting. They can be reliable sources of information, unlike the corporate propaganda machines like Fox, which spew more half-truths and misinformation than you can shake a stick at, sexed up in their red, white, and blue thirty-second soundbites. Even other corporate cable media outlets like CNN and MSNBC have followed suit, doing whatever it takes to make a buck. This is not reporting the news; it's sensationalism and running commentary on the news parading as journalism.
    Attack this crap all you want, but leave freedom where it belongs. Censorship in any form does a disservice to this nation.
    EVERY news outlet puts its own spin and opinion on things. None are one hundred percent unbiased, because all of them are run by HUMANS. That said, if you are not intellegent enough to pick out the opinions from the fact in the reported news, and know which "facts" are really speculation and which are confirmed and undeniable truth, than you should just roll up in a fetal position somewhere, because you are really not smart enough to survive long in the real world.

    As for the news not getting the full and correct story on the fire lines, that is often either the fault of the PAO/PIO not getting the information out in a timely and clear manner, or the basic fact that the reporter has to pare out some info to fit in the 30-60 seconds the control room gives them or the paragraph and a half the layout editors provide for the story in the paper. Rarely is there any reason for a reporter to have any malice intent in spreading mis-information about a fire scene or the fire department.
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