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Before the Fall > Question #4: The media

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Before the Fall focuses much attention on the media's 24-hour news cycle, "fake news," and the power of cable news stations. Comment on the role of the media in shaping the news of the crash as well as its aftermath. Are there parallels you drew with real life as you read the book?


message 2: by Laurie (new)

Laurie Dominato | 21 comments It really opens your eyes to the power of the media. At first they portrayed Scott as a hero, then they were trying to stir up the idea that he was somehow responsible for the crash. Although it could have turned out that he could have been somehow the reason for the plane crash ( i.e. someone made sure he was on the plane in order get rid of him) but to think that he caused the crash so he could be a survivor or be a hero by saving the boy is somehow implausible. It made me think of the Steven Truscott case back in the 1940s. After watching programs on the case it appears to me the media made him the killer without the evidence.
Media wants a story, drama, in order to get good ratings so they have the power to angle things to appear in a certain way.
Always a reminder that you have to make your own choices and don't believe everything you hear.


message 3: by Susan (new)

Susan | 130 comments I am involved in the Corporate Communications world so this echoed real life. Reporters are paid to sell newspapers / gain eyeballs on line and those that work for less ethical papers / blogs/ etc. are responsible for the fact that we even talk about "fake news". People's and companies reputations are ruined very easily these days - and rarely do any of these reporters ever set the record straight. They just move on to another story and never check their facts.
I wonder if the inspiration for the media behaviour here was based on FOX news? The author would certainly know the characters, given his other role in media.


message 4: by Shirley (new)

Shirley Mytnowych | 57 comments Mod
I agree with Susan, the media is out to sell and whatever slant the story takes, they jump on it to get people's attention. I just finished reading another book that highlighted the role of the media called, "What she knew"; Where a grieving mother is suddenly hailed as the evil suspect. It reminded me of Scott's role, who at first is deemed a hero, only to be suspected of underhanded secrets in the blink of an eye. It only goes to show that we only know what the media wants us to know. I can't imagine living a life in the lime-light these days. It was bad enough when Princess Diana was alive and they hounded her to her death, I believe it's even worse now!


message 5: by Maureen (new)

Maureen B. | 212 comments It does seem that reporters have become increasingly aggressive in their quest to get a story and this (excellent) book does certainly paint "the Media" in a harsh light.

I used to work as a reporter though and while there were always ones who wanted bylines, most of the writers I knew were mostly interested in getting at the truth as best they understood it.

A couple of things I noticed:
The first was that many people only told you what they wanted you to hear. And the second was they didn't want to know anything that conflicted with their beliefs (Mark Twain's quote "Don't confuse me with the facts, I've already made up my mind")

I am increasingly alarmed by the globally negative and oversimplified perception of a increasingly vast array of information services. Many of them are legitimate, serving an important role, and sadly, many of those are now struggling for survival.

I did think of ALC as similar to FOX News and Cunningham as a version of O'Reilly. It was uncanny reading this while the righteous O'Reilly was being cast out of the media shark tank!


message 6: by Laurie (new)

Laurie Dominato | 21 comments I think we always have to remember much of what we hear in the media is opinion. A friend of mine did some writing for a small paper and I remember her telling me how she had interviewed one person about the issue and afterward thought "that's right, I see what they mean" but when interviewing someone else on the same issue her eyes were opened to the other side. She could see how that person was right too. We all think we're right even when we don't have all the facts. There is not always a right and wrong but a different take on the same issue.


message 7: by Susan (new)

Susan (susanopl) | 472 comments Mod
Susan wrote: "I am involved in the Corporate Communications world so this echoed real life. Reporters are paid to sell newspapers / gain eyeballs on line and those that work for less ethical papers / blogs/ etc...."

Like you, I thought of Fox News as I read the book. I don't know if the author had Fox in mind, though. Your point about the facts not being set straight is so true. The 24-hour news cycle doesn't leave room for it. Some people end up being publicly shamed with no way to regain their reputations.


message 8: by Susan (new)

Susan (susanopl) | 472 comments Mod
Maureen wrote: "It does seem that reporters have become increasingly aggressive in their quest to get a story and this (excellent) book does certainly paint "the Media" in a harsh light.

I used to work as a repo..."

Thanks for your perspective as a reporter, Maureen. It's so important that we hear both sides of a story - that's what journalists are trained to bring us. I believe it's unfortunate that "news" is so easy to publish now, without any standards that ensure the truth.

The novel is very timely, as you said. It will be interesting to see if and when it is made into a movie or television series.


message 9: by Susan (new)

Susan (susanopl) | 472 comments Mod
Laurie wrote: "I think we always have to remember much of what we hear in the media is opinion. A friend of mine did some writing for a small paper and I remember her telling me how she had interviewed one person..."
I agree, Laurie, that there's not always a right and wrong. Unfortunately, I don't thing networks like Fox strive to find both sides of a story.


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