Las Vegas Sun

October 25, 2014

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letter to the editor:

When the media jumps the gun

Along with many things in life, hearing “news” has polar abilities. It has the power to revitalize your day, and on the contrary, it can ruin your life.

I discovered it also has a third power — causing people to worry by giving out information that is open-ended.

On March 7, a few news sites posted articles with headlines similar to “Breaking News: A Boeing 777-200 is missing and has lost contact with Malaysia Airlines” and continued with about three sentences about the departing airport and arrival destination, that there was no contact with the flight, and that based on the amount of fuel the aircraft was carrying, it’s unlikely the plane was still airborne.

While it basically insinuated that everyone on board is dead, it stated no fight number but encouraged you to “stay tuned for the latest updates.”

What if your family were on that flight? For starters, you wouldn’t even know. It took me two articles to find the flight number the next day, and every headline contained words like “possibly” and “could be.”

Sometimes I feel like people who write these articles lack compassion for humanity. They forget just how much they influence the mind and even create artificial perceptions.

As Malcolm X said, “The media’s the most powerful entity on earth.” Before releasing information to the public, maybe you should know a little bit more about what you’re talking about.

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