Compare and Contrast Ode to the West Wind and Ode to a Nightingale

10 October 2016

The media has been both the angel and the devil in the last few decades. Besides reporting the news and brining the world of ours to close proximity, the media has also uncovered and exposed wrong doings. It makes us wise to the world, so that we are better armed to make crucial decisions. However, the most important thing about media, sometimes many of us tend to overlook, is a business. In fact, it is first, a business then everything else.

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A newspaper without a large number of readers, a radio station which few listen to and a TV station which has few stations are all business failures. Being business orientated, it is natural that these companies would make their priority to maximize profit. It is this that sometimes causes the media to be unreliable. Quite often, the media cannot be relied upon to tell the truth or publish selectively. There have been too many examples of the fabrication of the news in order for their papers to sell.

There have been situations where they have committed blunders and hastily publish information that has later found untrue, thus we can see that the media does not always publish the truth. The media has certainly let us down before and since, we base our trust in anyone, or anything, on their past, it is little wonder that we do the same with the media. The Malaysian media, especially the press proved itself to be capable of great harm.

The various agencies competed against one another and bad mouthed Singapore. They blew little issues out of proportions and flatly refused to publish our refutation even when we offered to clarify their ill-found reports. It was clear to us that theirs was a vendetta, a strategy to sell paper. Little did they realize that the same public and certainly the international community which supported them would thereafter refuse to put their trust in anything they say.

A spoiled reputation takes years to turn around. Another great reason for disagreeing that the media always tell the truth is their tendency to exaggerate and even fabricate their own news. There have been reports all over the world where journalists have published ‘news’ which have later been found to have been manufactured. Some of these were so called investigative stories were found to be pure fiction.

An amusing revelation, several years ago, in a local newspaper publication, the paper published an item which stated that there are many women becoming pregnant in Singapore at that time and the photograph even carried a photo of a few expectant mothers. A reader however, lambasted the report and revealed that there were no basis for it by pointing out that the photograph had actually been taken outside our main maternity hospital. The strive for the media to earn money, thus encourages it to fabricate its own news in order to boost sales, therefore making it unreliable to tell the truth.

Lastly, the media also make many blunders in reporting news, the one that takes the cake was one by a local newspaper which published that the Singapore’s former Deputy Prime Minister and one of the founding fathers of Singapore, a man reputed to be of impeccable character had been arrested for drunk driving. A closer case would be the case that the media falsely reported and spread rumors that Mr Lee Kuan Yew had supposedly passed away on National and they were later proved to be absolutely false as he made his appearance at the National Day celebration. Besides this, some papers report information with the ‘I am holier than thou’ tones.

One of them made fun of a lovers’ quarrel in court where the lovers were opera actors, others have made fun of people divorcing or indiscretions. This leads to us believing that the media companies are not run by people but by machines. Clearly, the media has spoiled is own reputation and has lost our trust, It is sad that the organ that had supported great revolutions and even spearheaded some of them has been reduced to something of such a bad reputation. However, we should not throw the baby with the bathwater; if some well though measures and precautions can be put in place, the media can still be relied on to tell the truth

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