Mainstream news needs to shift focus away from speed

If you’re looking for information about Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, it seems the last place you should turn to are the mainstream news outlets.

As you may well know, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has been widely discussed since its disappearance an hour into its trip from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Beijing, China. We know the flight left Kuala Lumpur at around 12:41 a.m. on March 8th with 227 passengers and 12 crewmembers, and contact was lost around 2:40 a.m. that same day. They never reestablished contact and have also had no luck in finding the plane.

Those are the facts that we know and that is it. Sure, it’s a very intriguing news story simply because a plane with 239 people on it just disappeared, but there are only a few things we know for certain so it can’t really be talked about. News is supposed to be based on facts but as far as this story goes it’s based on “reports.” I believe it is a horrible tragedy but the media coverage of it has made it even more of a tragedy.

In today’s day and age we are so electronically connected to social media and we have 24-hour news stations, which have resulted in a constant need for flow of new information. In the case of this story that information isn’t there, at all, so we’ve been hearing a repeat of all the information over and over. When there is even a little bit of information or a rumor, it has been jumped on by the media outlets as “breaking news.” Could you imagine if you knew someone that was on the flight and you saw something like that? It would probably give you some hope, hope that they are actually getting somewhere in their mission to find this plane.

Hope may be the feeling that you get, but if you ask me that isn’t what the media is trying to give you. News has evolved into who has the story and who had it first rather than just getting the information correct before you release it.

Malaysia Airlines has done a great job giving daily updates with as much information as possible and with every false lead and exaggerated report the news lets out, it makes them look bad. Malaysia Airlines has even said in their press release updates that they cannot speak upon what the media has said and that they know how hard it is for the families to hear some of the things the media is saying but they cannot do anything about it.

Just to give you an idea of how the media is looking for every possible story out of this situation go to CNN’s website. They’ve given this story its own full page and some of the stories they have published make me think if they even care about the people involved. Just to point to a couple: “MH370: Is it the pinger? 4 reasons to believe; 6 reasons to doubt” is an article that goes on to explain why they should believe this is going to lead to a discovery and why it will not lead to a discovery. Also “Tick, tock: What happens after the Malaysian plane’s pingers die?” talks about three possible situations that have gone on with the pingers.

If I had any connection to this story at all on a from a media standpoint I would be absolutely embarrassed and although I have no personal connection to this story I am still disgusted. The media needs to stop putting having the story first before the feelings and lives of those affected by it. We can only hope for the sake of those involved that this situation gets resolved sometime soon or else this media debacle will continue.

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