Monday, November 5, 2007

Self Analysis of Media influence on trial

Throughout this project I found myself constantly developing as a student and a thinker. Every post brought new knowledge and a different style of thinking. In a way my argument changed its course drastically throughout this experience. When I first started this project I felt that the media was just an external source who feeds the general public a very biased perspective of a case. After researching my topic and reading comments posted by my peers I realized that I have underestimated the power of the media. I found the different avenues in which the media affected the trial prior to and post trial. It seems as if the media’s coverage of the case starts from the minute after the crime is reported, in some cases even before the crime occurs. I was intrigued that such a source could obtain so much information without any connection to the case. It seems as if the media is the middle man between the prosecution and the defense. Media is able to conduct interviews and converse with each party and “act” as a neutral figure. Yet, when it comes to reporting the story all this power is being abused. The media picks a side and pressurizes everyone else to it as well. This is one aspect of media’s role in court cases that upset me the most. The media is capable of so much, yet its power is put to waste. I feel that the media should have a social responsibility to provide its citizens with reliable and credible information at no one’s expense.
Upon more thought of the issue, I also began to delve into a few complications when I explored possible solutions to this problem in my implications and theory post. Every solution that I thought of began to explore seemed to only fit only in a perfect world. At first it seemed like there was no solution, but then I realized that through rigid regulation and elimination of pre-trial media a media tampering can be solved.
Also one of the most important changes in my thinking that I noticed is that I am now able to accept both sides of the argument and be less biased toward a certain side. When I first began working on this project I felt that the media was solely a bad influence to the public. Upon working with this project I have begun to realize that the media can also bring awareness to the public, which often sparks a fight for a good cause. For example, the media’s coverage of the Jena 6, OJ Simpson, West Memphis 3, and Dobbie Williams’ case all sparked activism across the country. As a result of this project I have also begun to understand the ramifications behind a good argument. I have discovered that some of the best arguments are ones that are balanced and use a variety of sources to make a point.
After much research and thought about media’s influence on the death penalty I find my knowledge about the issue to be scholarly, but by no means do I have authority over the issue. My opinions can be proven through credible sources and can help create a solution for the problem. I hope that my work will help inspire change and develop a social responsibility amongst all.


katiegane said...

I think it is great that you allowed yourself to be open-minded as you pursued your topic. I can definitely see both sides of the argument on the media tampering issue, where such intervention can help and hinder cases. I think that media involvement is acceptable to a certain extent in order to inform the public about certain issues. Even though citizens rely on the media for information, they need not let the media's influence bias them in their opinion in a topic. When the media begins to change one's view on a topic is when the institution has exceeded its boundaries.

Akansha said...

I feel like this project has done much the same for me. I liked the fact that, through this project, we were able to research both sides of the issue, enabled us to gain a more well-rounded understanding of the issues we were researching. I agree with the fact that the media has an important part in influencing public opinion about major judicial issues. I agree with the fact that media coverage, in the right amount, is essential to maintain public awareness.

Imran said...

It's really good that you can accept both sides of an argument. Usually issues like this are not black and white; there is a huge gray area. The media can create a societal good when it reports on unjust situations, like the Jena 6 or the West Memphis 3. I think that there will always be a bias in the media, it just seems impossible to break away from it. However, those who watch the media can make educated judgments on what to pay attention to and what to disregard. We, as a nation, need to be able to discern fact from opinion and belief in what we learn from media sources.

Madison said...

I agree with your thought that this project opened up my mind to new ideas and taught me to see different sides of arguments. I think this is important because most of the issues we are discussing are not black and white and therefore we must compromise. I do also think that the media is not all bad, and is necessary in society for the promotion of common good.

Cody Green said...

This project has definetly opened up my eyes as well. However, I do think my topic is a little more one sided than some of the others. In my case, I think that juries need to be diverse, and personally, I couldn't entertain an argument to the contrary. But with some of the other topics I can certainly see where the grey area exists.