Rather than expect The Press (much less the Mainstream News) to serve a central roll in preserving an open Democracy, it’s instead become the accepted norm to essentially absolve the News Media of any true social responsibilities by simply presuming that by being a reflector of Society, that the News Media is just providing us what we expect as Consumers. A more pragmatic view is that, aside from the bone fide Journalism that we count on from trusted sources, and the alternative programming from a handful of Public Broadcasters or Specialty Channels, the Mainstream News Media really isn’t developing or investigating many genuinely new issues or ideas. Instead the mandate appears to be simply stoking the stories that already exist into a biased point of view that caters to a chosen demographic, and thus pandering to base audience desires to gather as large an audience as possible in order to drive its Ad revenues.
As purveyors of packaged info (-tainment?), most Media outlets are simply taking breaking stories from their various central news agencies, and presenting them in terms that will appeal to us, on a variety of levels, all packaged with adoptable meanings, in digestible formats. This general approach continues to serve as a reminder that the News Media is often playing on our need to form “personal” opinion (for better or worse), and inadvertently reminding us how easily swayed we are by the powers of the underlying Government/Public Affairs and Public Relations campaigns that are being run in the background of these “news stories”. These stories rarely conflict with the more visibly apparent forms social engineering such as Advertising and Entertainment, that we can more clearly appreciate for what they more openly seem to be.