Who watches television and is able to remain conscious of what your subconscious takes in? Are you aware of what the connotations are and what the message is? Our television screens are there to feed us with constant bullhshit (excuse my French). If you’re a passive audience then I’m hoping this post will wake you up and shake you up! Let’s start with the basic talent reality TV shows. You can’t really get anymore mediated then these. For instance, shows like the X factor or American Idol, the process is fixed from the very beginning. It is indeed the producers who decide who gets through the stages, not the judges. All contestants have to an audition with the producer’s first that we are not shown, over here the producers get an idea of which subject is amusingly bad or incredibly talented. You probably watch these shows and are shocked when the judges allow a contestant who is horrifically rubbish through. Well, that’s down to the producers. They on purpose broadcast individuals who are bad, so they can embarrass themselves. It’s called “entertainment purposes”. Even though these shows are all about “finding the next big thing”, there is a huge amount of rubbish contestants that go through. The purpose of this is to keep us entertained, give us something to talk about and laugh at. What else do you know about talent shows? Did you know in shows like X Factor, in the live shows there is indeed a card holder in the back, conducting the cheers and boos. The audience is told when to cheer or boo, it is not their decision who they can like or not. It is completely down to the producers, the cheers and boos are navigated for each contestant.
Moving on from shitty talent shows, let’s discuss the news. A personal favourite. Newspapers, which majority of the public have been reading for many decades now. There’s now a more reachable and expanded platform for newspapers, i.e. many newspapers have now got their own website. In effect, reaching a wider audience. Being British and from a working social class background, I am hence going to discuss a newspaper which working class British people adore. The Sun. If you are aware of the media and how crafty and cunning it can be then you probably aware of The Sun, which for me is the definition of crafty and cunning. Owned by Rupert Murdoch (Britain’s sweetheart), The Sun continues to deliver poor journalism and fake stories. I am going first explain what I mean when I use the phrase “poor journalism”. The Sun has been accused many times for using bizarre headlines, especially when it comes to Muslims. For example, the controversial headline “Ramadan a ding dong” when addressing Channel 4’s decision to air the ‘Adhan’. There is no doubt that the headline’s main purpose is to mock Muslims and the special fasting month called ‘Ramadan’. Also to mock the Adhan, by making it sound like a nursery rhyme. The newspaper even had the nerve to argue that channel 4’s decision to air the adhan would inflame tension! Whilst having such an offensive headline themselves.
The Sun is also known for creating hoax stories against Muslims and then apologising later. For instance, the newspaper reported London bus driver Arunas Raulynaitis had stopped his bus so he could pray and was mistaken for a “fanatic” because of his rucksack. Ironically, five months later, the paper apologised and said the claims were “completely untrue”. There seems to be an ongoing trend of The Sun reporting false claims and contributing towards Islamophobia. I believe newspapers like The Sun deliberately report false stories against Muslims to add fuel to the fire. They are aware of their power as a newspaper, they know that some idiot will read their fake report that radicalises Muslims, passively take in all information without questioning its validity and go out and attack. As well as contributing to Islamophobia, I believe The Sun also enjoys scapegoating Muslims too. The report “Muslims’ Hospital Bug Snub” which conveyed ‘Thousands of hospital patients are in danger of catching deadly superbugs because Muslim medical students refuse to follow new hygiene rules. Once again a load of bull, authors James Jones and Peter Oborne visited Leicester University to see the evidence for themselves where the claims were made from and concluded ‘Not a single doctor or member of staff we spoke to had come across any problems with hand-washing,’ they wrote. To back the two author’s verdicts, Dr Symonds, Consultant Clinical Oncologist at Leicester University, told Huffington Post: “I personally haven’t seen it. I know of no-one who says they’ve seen it, and I’ve discussed it with our junior staff, nurses, colleagues, and everyone just looks blankly at me with blank incomprehension… the issue has not arisen.”. The findings conclude that The Sun will report a story without any research made or investigation carried out. As long as it makes Muslims sound like Neanderthals, it’s a job well done. So you can see for yourself here I have presented only two examples, however there a number of false or exaggerated reports from The Sun.
It’s easy to tell when a newspaper is against Islam; the reports are all based on stereotypes and are hugely overstated to the point where the story isn’t even true. Newspapers like The Sun and Daily Mail reports are often highly inaccurate. I always find myself questioning the journalist involved. I don’t have any respect for any journalist who does not have the intention to deliver a true or at least accurate picture. The journalists who work for these two co-operations and make such bizarre reports, I question not just their literacy and academic skills because let’s be honest Daily Mail can’t spell but also the ethics. How can these journalists be okay with spreading made-up lies and contributing towards Islamophobia which in effect makes it more dangerous to be a Muslim in western societies? The false stories they create, produces a huge deception of what Islam is about. Where do the morals lie here? The lack of validity and poor literature used when describing a religion, race, nationality or class implies these news organisations philosophies are based on ignorance and their own biased and subjective perceptions. I strongly advise to avoid reading The Sun and Daily Mail. They don’t educate you, but instead aim to indoctrinate you, by publishing false stories which scapegoat individuals, demoralise religions, stereotype certain social classes and explain crime by the colour ones skin.
All in all, the media holds the most power that even intimidates political leaders as well as the public. We can’t run or avoid the media as it is now an inevitable part of the 21st century livelihood. However, we sure can educate ourselves; I believe the greatest form of control is when you think you’re free. One form of imprisonment is when you’re sitting in a prison cell and can see and touch the bars. The other form and more sinister is when you’re in a prison cell but can’t see the bars and think you’re free. Therefore, it is vital to be aware of the chasm between what is reported in the papers and what’s really going on. Whether that’s the shitty talent shows that appear on our television screens every weekend or the attention seeking distorted headlines. Always be curious to know what really goes on behind closed doors. Never allow yourself to become a waste product of the media.