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Media to the rescue of Common MAN...

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/2/2009 Category: Society
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,118 times Debate No: 7190
Debate Rounds (3)
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I, for one, vehemently believe that media be it print or electronic is paving its way to be a pivotal force in today's society. The media is vested with powers on the trust that it will bring into light startling facts about todays society and making people aware of things taking place in the vicinity.

It will be difficult for me to explain my point to someone who is not from India. Around 10 years ago there was a case regarding the brutal murder of a young girl called Jessica lall. The case was wrapped up with the murderers being released with nothing more than a slap on the wrist. The case remained etched in the memories of the family and the dust ridden files of the case being put away in a secluded corner.

After almost a decade the media both print and electric dug those old files and brought the case to light again. Media alongwith public support made sure that justice was given and did not breath easy till it made sure that the guilty was given the punishment.

This is just one of the many instances where the media has played the anchor in taking up almost forgotten cases and following them till they are solved. In this context I can remember a line from one of my favourite movies: Spiderman. WITH GREAT POWERS COMES GREATER RESPONSIBILITIES.

So the media like it has done till now must tread carefully and use its powers in the most positive manner and channelize its forces in the right direction.

Looking forward to a healthy argument.


I'm not sure at all what your resolution is. From what I can gather, something to the effect of; media is good, it should do something, and that something should continue to be good. If I'm mistaken please let me know. I too would like a healthy debate.

Anyway, your contention that the media is good, or in some way, stands for and produces justice etc. doesn't have a real-world corollary. I'm not claiming that the media hasn't had any positive effects. There are great stories, like the one you provided, of media coverage offering help to those in need etc. But, the flip side of that coin is the immediacy of media coverage leading to the unjust vilification of countless alleged, yet innocent criminals. For instance, OJ Simpson, whether you believe he was innocent or not, has had his life virtually ruined by the media. Despite being proved innocent in criminal court, the extensive and rather biased media coverage of OJ's trial and investigation has utterly convinced the overwhelming majority of the world that this man is a murderer, despite being PROVED otherwise under our justice system.

Also, media is inherently bad. Reporters and media sources, especially the ones most frequently viewed, rarely have any credential other than their ability to report things. We have these people trumpeting their INTERPRETATION of the facts at the otherwise unknowing public. This is the worst example of 'group think', further empowering the dangers of unfounded popular opinion, as we witnessed with OJ. Modern day media has discouraged people from discovering and investigating facts and stories themselves, instead relying on someone else to summarize critical events (election coverage) into four word bullet points that rarely encapsulate the entirety or truth of the matter.

I guess the key problem I have with your resolution/argument, is that very 'trust' you mention. Relying on media introduces a trust between the people and reporters. However, that trust is fragile and rarely fortified. The 'like it has done till now' aspect of your resolution is hardly accurate, as I have shown above, which is why this trust has not/does not work.

Rather than relying on a cable news network to bring you their opinion on the stimulus package, read the bill.

Again, if you could clarify your position I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks for the debate.
Debate Round No. 1


1st of all thank you for participating in this debate.

I gather that you have a problem in interpreting what my resolution actually is. What I am trying to say is that the media has proved as an extended arm for the judicial system by providing their insight into the cases. They not only provide the law with their insight but also voice the opinion of the general public. It acts as a medium between the public and the judiciary system.

I for one do not find anything wrong if the media uses its powers and and try and take the matters in their own hands.
The instance of OJ Simpson that you have mentioned above is really unfortunate. Even i condemn this sort of irresponsible behaviour by the media, but as the media is also comprised by certain individuals, it is bound to be erring on certain times. The number of instances where it has behaved irresponsibly or indulged in negative publicity is no way near the number of cases and instances where it has proved to be a boon for the public.

" Also, media is inherently bad. Reporters and media sources, especially the ones most frequently viewed, rarely have any credential other than their ability to report things. We have these people trumpeting their INTERPRETATION of the facts at the otherwise unknowing public."

Here again I differ from your viewpoint. From your argument it feels as if you are trying to say that the media imposes its opinions on the public. Agreed that the media has the lion's share of say in a number of instances but I do not feel that it has become that powerful that it can impose its opinions upon us. Also I do not think that the public is unknowing or ignorant anymore. If you still think that the public is unknowing then that is not the problem of the media. They do not force you to agree with them. Its our choice whether we agree with them or not.

We must not forget that somewhere down the line media expresses what the majority of us think. So its almost like we cursing if our son goes astray. The media is our creation only. So before cursing the media we should be clear in our opinions. That would go a long way in solving a large chunk of our problems.

Waiting for your argument.


1. Media can effect the outcome of judicial decisions
2. The media can err
3. Media can effect the outcome of judicial decisions incorrectly based on their own error

"media has proved as an extended arm for the judicial system by providing their insight into the cases"

Exactly the problem I have with the media. Reporters are not police officers, judges, juries, or any elected official. They have no business providing their insight and interpretation of a yet unresolved criminal case. It bears against the principles of fair trial and unbiased juries, just like I demonstrated with the OJ case.

If the media strictly reported the facts, they would be able to objectively report/comment on criminal and judicial ongoings, but that is in no way the case. Media gets more and more biased by the day.

I would like some/any evidence to your claim that the number of instances where the media has behaved irresponsibly doesn't measure up to instances where it has helped. I think general sentiment, as well as my own viewpoint goes against you here.

"Media Coercion"
The media doesn't NEED to persuade people anymore. People rely on media for the entirity of their knowledge of the outside world. It is our choice whether or not to agree with them, but we base our agreement on what we think is true. What the media reports is what people think is true. Thats the problem. The media reports opinions as if they were facts, leading people to believe that the info they are getting is objective.

"Media expresses what the majority of us think"
This is flat-out untrue. Foxnews openly reports the Republican side of almost every issue, yet only 25% of Americans identify themselves as Republican. What the media reports is a reflection of that network and those producers. Its not as if all of us phone in things we have seen/heard/believe and that is what comprises the news. Its a handful of reporters determining what stories they agree with and what can get ratings/sell papers.

This all gets back to the central point. The media should not attempt to act as a branch of the judicial system, bringing criminals to justice etc. They are not qualified and often make mistakes. While it is helpful when they present the FACTS of a case, or make people aware that there maybe dangerous criminals in the area etc., leave the adjudication to our societally appointed judges and juries and stop instances of popularized villification (OJ).

So, to more formally refute your resolution, media should leave their insight on the sidelines and let judges do their jobs because they have no qualified opinion on judicial matters and do not reflect public opinion, only further a dangerous, and often incorrect group mentality.
Debate Round No. 2


Sorry for the delay in posting my argument.

I surmise that you have taken the OJ Simpson case as a benchmark for refuting the importance of media in today's societies.

You made a point that the media is not eligible to handle cases outside its domain of authority and it should leave this work to the police officers, judges, juries, or any elected official. But what if in a democratic society like the one we live in, some of us do not agree with the decisions of the ELIGIBLE PERSONS mentioned above. In such cases at least the media tries to involve the general public and asks them as to what they feel about the particular issue.

I do not think that the media is getting biased. It presents you with both the sides of the coin and then leaves the interpretations upon us. If it favours the pro side then it will explain why it has takes that stand and at the same instance provides the con side also.

As far as asking evidence for the number of cases where media's responsible behaviour outscored the times it behaved irresponsibly is in my opinion humanely impossible. I do not think it will be possible for you also. The numbers which we can remember might not be any more than what we can count on our fingers but its effect is for everybody to see. One can actually feel the media creeping upon the law and the judiciary by dragging them out of their comfort zones.

With all due respect to the law and judiciary, my statement is in no manner undermining their role, its just that media acts as a check upon them.

For individuals like us who in majority of the cases seldomly get to know the intricacies of the case, the media acts as a medium between us and the law. Its role is by no means confined to legal aspects. The media also acts as a guide for political affairs.

It HELPS us framing an opinion regarding the various political parties. Just imagine how difficult it would be to elect a government without the aid of media. You might say that I am deviating from the original point of contention where we had talked only about the legal aspects. But I just mentioned this point to emphasize the diverse importance of media be it print or electronic.

Thank You.


SuperPerfundo forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by kaif_dus 8 years ago
my resolution is very clear. its just that i am negating any counter arguments regarding misuse of their power. media should not complacent and should continue with the good work.
Posted by JBlake 8 years ago

You should consider making your resolution more clear.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by SuperPerfundo 8 years ago
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