Tuesday, March 04, 2008

News Vs. Reality!

“War is a new thing to all of us who are not in the last quarter of our century. We are learning many strange matters from our fresh experience. And besides, there are new conditions of existence which make war as it is with us very different from war as it has been.”- Oliver Wendell Holmes

Before the invention of railroads in the early 19th century and the emergence of the telegraph, it took men months to be able to transmit information from one part of the continent to another. In times of war, news became stories by the time they reached the mass. People did not digest the massacres and cruelties occurring in their neighboring countries as they would if it had just happened. Many of their concerns were based on the economic factor. The creation of railroads not only facilitated transportation from one place to another, but it also allowed an infrastructure of news. It was a time when newspapers were circulating containing vivid and explicit information. News became attainable, not leaving aside, that its alteration from reality was and has always been an economic factor, therefore, preceding politics. If we take in consideration the current situation of many countries, we can clearly see that regardless the means of communication, there is always another side to a story.

By no means, there is the need to go in depth and create a debate based on facts or what is not true, but there is a correlation to whatever a population might believe is true through the means of news and what in actuality the truth is. It is the reader’s responsibility to rely in different sources and conclude to what can be certain. Having access to news in a regular basis vs. having to wait months to obtain information was an evolution that not only created chaos but also gave people more power to claim justice or injustices and gave those in power, more tools to brainwash society to their advantage. At the end, war becomes the answer to justify indifferences that sooner or later make an objective, the economic factor where the lost of lives remains in the bottom of the ladder.


At 6:30 PM, Blogger A. Mattson said...

A thoughtful post.

Holmes is making the point that war created a great demand for information and communications from the military and the public. The newspapers, news syndicates and the military made use of these new networks of communication: rail & telegraph, to spead the velocity of communications and create a nation-wide news network.


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