Cheryl reflections

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Information about Cheryl reflections

Published on March 15, 2014

Author: tylerisaacmurphy


Personal Reflections Cheryl Shane March 14, 2014 Media Bias: The topic of media bias is ubiquitous in today’s society. Anyone’s view, no matter how radical, can be presented as a news report to be shared for all to see. While conducting research for this project, I began to think about the effect the media has not only on one’s view of conservationism but the impact it has on how one views the world. The phrase liberal media is used to describe any number of news sources including network news reporting, cable news channels, print and online media. Many people, although some may consider them to be conspiracy theorists, believe that the media and/or corporations that own media outlets collude with the government in order to prevent truths from being revealed. My personal opinion on the subject is that national media does tend to be more liberal than not but I don’t think it is because their opinions are bought. The definition of liberal according to Merriam- Webster is: believing that government should be active in supporting social and political change. Journalists are simply using the platform that is available to them to provide information on topics they feel are newsworthy. If their opinions are interjected into the news they are reporting, it may not always be intentional. They are stating the facts as they see them, doing what they are paid to do. The media’s reputation for being liberal comes, in part, from the stories promoting social welfare and democratic ideals. I have always felt that conservatives or people who believe that we should not provide assistance to the impoverished would change their opinion if they actually experienced what it is like to live at or below poverty level. The job description of a journalist dictates that they must visit a multitude of places and meet people from all walks of life. I believe that journalists view life in a way that few others do because the job requires them to go places that few people in their social classes do. It really is just a variation of the idiom; don’t judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes. Although reporters may not live the lives of those on which they report, they see their struggles and their opinions are swayed based on that information. The problem we face in having so many forms of biased media is that it becomes difficult to determine what is factual and what is not. The best solution I have found to this problem is to have people obtain their news from multiple sources, even sources that may conflict with what their personal feelings may be. Listening to multiple viewpoints allows an individual to make an informed decision on a subject rather than a decision that may be based on biased information. Subscribing to multiple news sources also helps to create an open dialogue. Any bias shaped by one story toward a particular subject will be negated by an opposing news report with a bias against it. As with any situation, people’s interpretations of the truth and their own experiences are what dictates their opinion. I believe that if we could all face the world with less judgment and more acceptance, we would all be better off. The media’s portrayal of our world is just that, a portrayal. Our lives are shaped by the people and situations we place ourselves in and we should all choose to make it better. The Fight to Save Lives: I hadn’t really given the fight to save endangered species much thought prior to reading The Odyssey of KP2. I have donated to different conservation efforts over the years and consider myself to be somewhat well-informed in the arena of the environment. I always encourage recycling and hate it when people litter. I try to reuse anything that I can and reduce my carbon footprint whenever possible.

I never realized though, all of the behind the scenes effort required when working to save endangered species. There are many factors that come into play when you consider the fight to save a threatened species. Opinions are all too often widespread and animated. There are many interests involved from the government, scientists, local people, corporations, and the ecosystem of the area the threatened species lives. The Endangered Species Act is a federal law created to protect both wildlife and plants. Enforcement of the Endangered Species Act is handled by the Fish and Wildlife Service as well as the National Marine Fisheries Service. These laws have been enacted to prevent endangered species from becoming extinct as well as fight to keep threatened species from being listed. Scientists, researchers, students and anyone involved in working with threatened animals must follow laws that seem onerous when you think of the things they hope to accomplish. It’s unfortunate that the laws created to protect the animals also prohibit some of the research needed to assist animals. At times, the lives of these animals depend on the findings of the studies and mysteries solved. Also, scientific research for one species often benefits multiple species as was discovered when the Hawaiian Monk Seal was found to be beneficial for the ecosystem in Hawaiian waters. This group of individuals speaking out and fighting for the animals’ well-being also have to deal with people who live in the local ecosystems of the plants and animals they’re working to save. They work with local and state governments and try to come to a compromise with business people. There have been many lawsuits involving the EPA, corporations, and other interests. A memorable case is the Northern Spotted Owl in the Pacific Northwest. Environmentalists went to great lengths to save the owls even going so far as to create platforms in the trees to prevent logging of the old growth forest. The Nature Conservancy estimates that plant and animal species are disappearing at rates 100 to 1000 times greater than normal. This is an alarming statistic and I hope that it concerns you, as a reader, as much as it concerns me. We have to focus on changing the practices that cause irreversible harm to the environment and the living species on it. Continuing to act as if a problem doesn’t exist in our world is no longer an option.

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