Monday, September 3, 2012

Should we trust Media?

After reading Ryan Holiday’s “Trust Me I’m Lying” I realized how much control over society the media has.  Usually, we think of the news as a source of current information that has been investigated and up to date with the latest known facts.  As I have learned in Professor Goldstein’s Media Studies 103 class, news journalism has an obligation to the public to serve as the "watchdog function" over government. But as Holiday exemplifies in his introduction, he was able to deceive the media and newspapers such as the Washington Post and Chicago Tribune.  This begs the question is society really able to believe what newspapers are saying knowing that they can be deceived with fake stories?

Similar to Holiday's case study, there are other stories that make their way out into the news about journalists fabricating facts.  Holiday explains how he was able to effortlessly create controversy around a movie.  There are other rumors going around about creating stories just for publicity of movies.  For example, recently there was a story about how the Twilight Saga core couple of Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson had broken up after Stewart cheated on him with Rupert Sanders.  This could be true…But then again, there are rumors saying that the story was created in order to gain publicity for the movies about to hit the market.

The Introduction of “Trust Me I’m Lying” was really an eye opener for me into how easily the public is deceived.  The media appeals to the consumer with stories that society wants to hear; marketers cater to the publics wants.  What else is society not being told?


  1. The Holiday reading is fairly shocking, isn't it? (Unless you already approached mainstream media with a healthy amount of skepticism.) You've probably all heard stories about the death of traditional newspapers due to online media, but that story is usually told as one of distribution and audience share, not journalistic integrity. How much do you think we should blame the demand for 24x7 content created by cable television and the Web? Would we solve these problems simply by hiring more reporters and fact-checkers? Or does every reader/listener have to become his or her own fact-checker?

  2. This particular reading really opened my eyes to the truth of the manipulation of audiences and how easily people like Holiday are able to do so. I believe with the fast paced society we have today, we, as oblivious readers, have no problem consuming constant new stories. They send, we receive. We're addicted these scandals, real or not, and it is for the benefit of the producers. It is manipulative marketing, but it works because consumers just keep eating and wanting more.