Media marathon in Boston doesn’t tell us anything

The Marathon Bombing: What The Media Didn’t Warn You About
By Russ Baker on Apr 19, 2013
Boston, and the other big explosion—in West, Texas

During a meeting on Tuesday morning, less than 24 hours after the bombings at the Boston Marathon, a well-meaning person asked me whether I thought we could assume that the usual suspects were behind the mayhem, or whether there was “more to it.” When I explained doubts about the conventional rush to judgment—and where those doubts came from—I was told I was on dangerous ground. This person, it seemed, was quite steadfast that the culprits must have come from certain well-advertised enemies of America, and didn’t want to even consider anything more complex.

We’re the products of our environment, and, in many respects, the media defines that environment.

Monday’s bombing at the Boston Marathon provides a perfect example of the defects of conventional news reportage—and proof that we urgently need something better. We got “scoops”, “experts”, “updates,” and post-tragedy Kumbaya, but at the end of those days of saturation coverage, we were none the wiser. It’s like what studies find about television news: the more you watch, the worse you perform on knowledge exams.

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