Information Filtering to Wake up the Masses

김강산l승인2016.03.02l수정2016.03.02 00:28l344호 3면

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  ‘The public is a dog and a hog. They will be quiet after barking.’ This is a line from Lee Gang-hui, a famous Editor in Chief. He freely manipulates and swings public opinion in the movie, Insiders. The film is a social critique and divulges the close relationship between politics, the press and the prosecution. The film also exposes a truth, which is that the public is incapable of unbiased judgement. However, there is one thing that people can change if they commit to it, and that is themselves and how they process the information they receive.

  These days, people receive a lot of information over a short period of time using SNS, smartphones, and computers. They can also easily search for anything they want to know. However, there is too much information out there to adequately distinguish between right and wrong. What this means is that the public concentrates on just the ‘issue’, and not truth. The public should be careful and critical about receiving information. Do you think people make a judgement when they read a post? If your answer is ‘yes, they do’, think about what you do. What are you thinking when you read a newspaper or text posting on SNS?

  The public is very influenced by the media. If the public are not smart readers, they can be swayed by the press. This is important because the media does not always deliver the truth. There could be a relationship between the media and the subject being discussed. The point is, that we believe it is fact, when we could be being manipulated by ‘media brainwashing’. Media brainwashing is the act of using the media to create a beneficial image for a group. In reality, people can easily see the public opinion change caused by the media, if they actually look with their eyes open. For example, a girl band could no longer perform in Korea because the media let it be known that they left one member out in the cold and the member left the group. After the issue spread in the press, the band lost a lot of fans.

  While the media yields a lot of power over information, so too does the public. As the media moves public opinion, the public is also capable of making a change in society. For example, the reason why Arthur Patterson was sentenced, almost 19 years after the crime he committed occurred, was because the public kept up the call for justice. After a film about the unresolved case was released to the public, a lot of people became interested in it and many people asserted his guilt and demanded the punishment of Mr. Patterson. The Patterson case also got media attention, making it an even bigger issue. Some argue it was the reason the prosecution was able to find Patterson guilty. This case clearly shows the influence of the public or ourselves on the nation. It also means we are important and as a result, we should be smart about it.

  People have to realize how dreadful the media can be. They should be aware of the fact that the media can wield a strong influence on them. Moreover, they have to know the importance of their own voices and the power it brandishes. The public is generally an ignorant mass awash in information and they depend on the words of the press to filter through to the important stuff. If the public does not change, the media will rule our thoughts and public opinion. Think when you read or watch something. The public should not be manipulated by the press.


김강산  dankookherald@gmail.com
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