Newspapers, news broadcasts, magazines, and tabloids all serve for the same function: to inform. However, the information being provided cannot always be everything that there is to know. Due to the censorship that occurs within news media, it is quite impossible to possess all of the straight facts of a particular social situation. The US government is held responsible for much of this censorship. Their fears generally concern upsetting the public and their own humiliation. The US government must set aside these fears and ultimately expose the truth in words and n pictures.
They must stop censoring, stop classifying, and start disclosing information about the issues that can potentially affect its citizens. As in 9/1 1, it was proved that withholding such information can lead to disastrous endings. Americans should do everything in their power to prevent tragedies such as this one and demand the truth. After all, the truth is Just as important to citizens as it is to the US government. A common issue that arises within news media is the mistrust of Americans when reading or listening to it. Because of this mistrust, newspapers have started to come unreliable sources of facts.
It is quite frustrating to know that newspapers and news broadcasts are holding back tremendous amounts of information, while spewing out what may dramatically be called lies. In 2004 “American’s confidence in the media dropped ‘a significant’ ten percentage points… According to a recent Gallup Poll,” (Media Bias). Presently, “no more than 25% say they have a ‘great deal’ or ‘quite a lot’ of confidence in either newspaper and TV news,” (Gallup Poll). Without a doubt, this number will continue to decrease as the censoring in the news persists to exist. There will be a point in time when the news will be utterly useless.
Much of the censoring that goes on in the news media has a lot to do with the government’s use of over-classification. Over-classification is a system that the government uses to conceal certain information from the public, (Government Secrecy). This term arose after the government started withholding information that was unnecessarily classified. This information is not necessarily dangerous, but can be embarrassing for the government if exposed to the public. Over-classification has certainly increased in the “aftermath of 9/1 1,” (Government Secrecy).
Much of what people know about this incident is partially inaccurate because they are not rightly informed about why it happened in the first place. American citizens have the right to this knowledge because after all, this catastrophe did occur within their own country. September eleventh was definitely a time that struck many people by surprise. However, it would not have been so disconcerting if the government had not remained so secretive. Before the attack, the CIA did in fact have some critical information about the AAA Qaeda terrorist group dating back to the mid sass’s.
Due to communications between several executive branch agencies, people were not thoroughly informed, (Government Secrecy). The government is at times so secretive that in turn, it has caused complications such as this one. “There has been massive secrecy and massively unnecessary secrecy,” (Government Secrecy). The government cannot possibly detent this country without letting the people who live in it become aware of the potential dangers. To this day, many of the questions about 9/1 1 continue to circulate; some concerning forensics, and others requiring scientific explanations.
The government has made no attempt to respond to these questions, (Unresolved 9/1 1 Issues). Various attempts have been made in order to notify the government about the publics indignation concerning the lack of communication between the public and government. The UCLA along with its lawyers have been desperately trying to enforce the federal Freedom of Information Act. This act was passed in 1966 by President Lyndon B. Johnson in attempt to prevent full disclosure of information from the public, (Government Secrecy).
Although this act still exists, it has not been proven effective since the government continues to disclose and censor information particular to social occurrences. This often misleads the publics perception of the United States and distorts their views in the government’s favor. The news essentially reflects the image of the American society to American citizens. This reflection often misleads many people into thinking that America is a civil and Just country. What people see, hear or read from the news is carefully manipulated so that only the key points of the story are stated and the unpleasant facts are disregarded.
This drawn-up image of America as a perfect and Just immunity is yet only a facade. Newspapers, along with the government, try to censor particular things so that it does not hurt this virtuous image of America. President George Bush has confirmed that many of the pictures that are censored and withdrawn from the news “depict governmental wrongdoing,” (Release Photos). He defended his statement by saying that these provocative pictures can often “lead to violent outrage and propaganda directed against the United States,” (Release Photos).
This may be true in some instances, but the government must consider if this censorship is absolutely necessary or not. The media, especially newspapers, can often distort the facts of a real situation. Many agree that some of the information from these articles is inaccurate and misleading, (Media Bias). The reason being is because of the, “the press’ fear of offending official sources that control access to the White House and other government news,” (Media Bias). However, this “fear” is the problem. Journalists omit significant facts of a story, and hinder the audience’s understanding of that particular situation.
With this constant distortion of facts we obtain from the media, including the overspent, many Americans are unaware of the suffering that America has inflicted upon other countries. People should consider for example World War II. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, America responded by dropping two atomic bombs in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, massacring millions of innocent lives. Surely, many will say that Japan deserved this horrendous punishment, but we must consider its ethical nature. Blinded by the government and the news, people had no recollection of what was morally ethical.
America was absolutely distressed with the news of Pearl Harbor forcing many American citizens to become supportive of the war. Journalists supported this idea because still today, “Major media companies are investing more money in new ways to disseminate information than to gather it,” (Media Bias). Journalists nave become unemotional which in turn causes the reader to the article to become insensitive as well. Many can also say that “Journalists focused more on how the war was being fought, than on why the US was at war,” (Media Bias). This is especially true for the tragedy that occurred on 9/1 1 .
The public should also gain access to the gruesome pictures that effectively show American brutality towards foreign prisoners. Certainly, America is embarrassed to display such awful images of mistreatment of these prisoners, but it is not right for the government to try to cover up America’s mistakes. It must be displayed so that it can ultimately, “help the public understand the scope and scale of prisoner abuse as well as the extent to which such abuse was caused by policy decisions,” (Release Photos). In order for there to be a solution, these pictures must not be censored.
In 2003, rumors spread like wildfire about prisoners who were detained and bused at U. S. Prisons in ABA Garcia; these pictures were later revealed. However, several photos remain concealed from the public to this day. It is very likely that the government refuses to display these images due to their graphic content. The government gives several reasons for this censorship, (Release Photos). “The Bush administration painted the abuse as anomalous and pinned the blame on a few bad apples,” (Release Photos). In this case, is the government really Justified in blaming individual soldiers for the punishment given to these foreign prisoners?
The soldiers ere not given any previous training in treating these prisoners. This incident highly resembled much of what occurred in the Zanzibar Experiment. The guards behaved in ways that they believed was the correct form of punishment, (Release Photos). If rules and regulations were implemented by the government, much of this behavior would be less likely to occur. This behavior is obviously obscene and immoral, and therefore should be exposed to the public. If these practices remain undetected, there will be no solution to the mistreatment of other foreign soldiers.
It ultimately “serves the Conventions’ central IM of ensuring that prisoners are treated humanely,” (Release Photos). The government is mistaken if they believe that displaying these images will cause harm to its citizens. By exposing these pictures to the public, the US government could potentially transform this unpleasant situation into an example of what America should not support and ultimately provide a solution. Americans must not be mislead by what they see, hear, or read from the news. They must not conform to what they are being told, since a great deal of the facts are easily manipulated by the US government.
They must seek out other sources in international news and must also take advantage of the internet. By expanding their knowledge, Americans can in effect become more well-rounded citizens and therefore help others realize the potential harm that the US government is risking on behalf of its own people. By raising awareness, Americans can ultimately put an end to the over-classification methods used by the government and demand the publication of these pictures. By taking these small steps, Americans will become closer to the truth and be able to create their own conclusions about a particular