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The Media: Does The Mainstream Media Use Pictures Of Children And Animals To Manipulate People?

The Media: Does The Mainstream Media Use Pictures Of Children And Animals To Manipulate People?

If someone has the tendency to buy a newspaper, they will have probably seen a picture of a child on the front cover at least once. And even if one simply looks at the front covers of newspapers and doesn’t buy them, they may also have had the same experience.

Just a Picture

There is the chance that one hasn’t really thought about this before but, even if they have, it might not have had much of an effect on them. As far as they are concerned, this might not be any different to having a picture of a celebrity on the front, for instance.

If this is the case, it could show that seeing a picture of the front page of a paper is something they have become accustomed to. Perhaps the children that they have seen have still been alive.

Drawn In

Conversely, one may remember seeing a child on the front and experiencing an emotional reaction soon after. This could have been a child who appeared to be happy, or it could have been a child who was no longer alive.

If they saw a child who was no longer alive, it is not going to be much of a surprise for them to have reacted in this way. At first they may have felt sad and, soon after, they could have been consumed by anger.

One Step Further

Once they settled down, they might have forgotten all about what they saw, meaning that they wouldn’t have felt the need to do anything else. Even so, seeing this dead child may have had a big effect on what they believe.

Alternatively, one may have been felt the need to do something about what they saw. Let’s say, for example, that this child was the dead “refugee” that was washed up on a beach in Greece; this may then have given them the desire to donate money and/or to make sure that their government offers to take in more of these “refugees”.

An Emotional Reaction

Through taking this approach, one wouldn’t have taken the time to step back and to take a closer look into what was going on. Their head would have been put to one side and their heart would have taken over.

Now, one way of looking at this would be to say that this is the right way to behave; especially as a young child had died. Surely, if one didn’t behave in this manner they would be a cold-hearted human being.

Another Point Of View

However, what this presupposes is that the mainstream media is only interested in informing people and doesn’t have an ulterior motive. If someone was to believe this, they would have to be incredibly naive.

What if the mainstream media only used this picture – as well as others – in order to elicit a certain response from people? One’s ability to empathise and to experience compassion would then have been used against them.

A Closer Look

Soon after the picture of this dead child was seen by millions of people around the world, it was said that this child wasn’t a “refugee”. Instead, this child was said to have lived in turkey for a number of years with his family.

These people were safe there, but his father wanted a better life in Europe. Thus, if this child along with his family had made it over, they would have been economic migrants as opposed to “refugees”.

Two Big Questions

It could be said that this is completely irrelevant; what is relevant is the fact that an innocent child has died. Yet, let’s not pretend that this is something that rarely takes place; the reality is that children die every day.

With this in mind, why was this child’s life was seen as so important that it had to be front page news? Also, if this child was already in a safe country, why was this child described as a “refugee”?

A Hidden Agenda

The trouble is that when one is caught up in how they feel, it is going to be a lot easier for the people behind the scenes to manipulate them. These people would have been only too aware of the kind of impact that this image would have on so many people.

But through focusing on one image and what the mainstream media says is happening, it makes it a lot harder for someone to be able to see the big picture. The main part of this picture – the part that the mainstream media doesn’t reveal – is then going to be out of sight.

Another Example

It doesn’t end there, though, as a picture of a polar bear has received a lot of attention recently due to how ill it looked. The picture of this polar bear was said to “show the stark reality of climate change”.

This is the kind of image that is likely to have a big effect on just about everyone who sees it. Nevertheless, soon after this image was seen by millions of people, an article on the Polar Bear Science website spoke about how this polar bear could be “starving due to heath issues”.

Creating the News

As a result of how this picture was presented, it would have been normal for someone to feel angry and guilty after seeing it. But if the polar bear was in a bad way due to the fact that it was ill, the appropriate response may have been to feel angry and sad.

After all, it’s not as if a polar bear lives forever. One then has to wonder why the publications that shared this picture didn’t take the time to find out more about the image. This could be because they are not interested in reality; the only thing they are interested in is getting people to buy into their worldview.

Conclusion

Taking this into account, it might be accurate to say that the child who was washed up on the beach and the starving polar bear – along with the other pictures of children and animals that they have used – are nothing more than a means to an end. The mainstream media simply uses these images to achieve a certain outcome.

If one does enough research, they may get a rough idea of what is going on behind the scenes, so to speak. With that aside, there is no denying how important it is for one to question what this source of information comes out with.

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