Institution of Affiliation
How Public Perception is Shaped
In the first article, “Woman burned by McDonald’s hot coffee, then the news media” public perception was influenced by the amount of money paid to the woman and not the how the judge came up with the verdict. During this case, two major issues arose, and this includes the woman’s carelessness since she poured the hot coffee on her laps, causing third-degree burns. Also, McDonald’s culture of storing hot coffee beyond room temperature was another risk factor to which the judge considered and therefore decided to punish the company after reviewing the degree of burns. However, the amount initially arrived at reduced due to the woman’s carelessness arriving at 2.9 million dollars. The news was received differently, with the word count reducing from thousands to hundreds and then to tens with others having headlines around the world. Few words could not explain the situation, and this made it look like extortion.
“Sybil: A brilliant hysteric?” involves the treatment of a psychiatric patient who possessed more than 15 personalities. The media on the other side didn’t believe that multiple personalities really existed as the condition was so rare, and therefore considered it as a hoax.
“Dingo’s got my baby: Trail by media” involves a story of a mother who lost her child, and since she was never found, she was set for trial by murder of her child based on media evidence. The media did not understand the whole story and thus claimed that the mother had murdered her child. The media played a great role in making her look guilty despite the lack of evidence, motif, and dead of a child. However, she was released from jail after compelling evidence was found in regard to the dingo’s attack, but the media did not come into terms with the narrative.
“The truth about video games and violence” involves the perception that video games result in crime, a wrong judgment that lacks supporting evidence. According to statistics, video games in the United States have increased, but the rate of crime has reduced, but this still does not act as compelling evidence for the public to associate playing video games with crimes. President Donald Trump said that video games help in reshaping the minds, but after a shooting attack, the media reversed the story claiming that the shooters played video games.
“McMartin Preschool: Anatomy of panic” is another story of misleading media as it involves school owners being accused of physically molesting over 300 children. However, it turned out that the whole story was not true as the mother of the first complaining child was psychotic, and despite the lack of evidence, the public still claimed the same thing. The media played a higher role in shaping the public perception by feeding them with the perception of molestation through airing suggestive conclusions of what the children witnessed. The therapist who questioned the children could not agree that the children were not molested, and this forced the children to say what they needed to hear. However, after four years, it came clear that there were no molestation, and it was merely accusations.
A common issue among the cases is that they all have a public perception that is influenced by rumors and mere speculations. There is not enough evidence in all the cases, and the victims suffer because false information was spread by the media changing the public perceptions. It is, however, turns that the media turned a deaf ear jumping into conclusions without backing its claims with evidence. The media has been very efficient in propagating unsubstantiated information, thus influencing the public perception in a negative way.
‘Dingo’s Got My Baby’: Trial by Media | Retro Report | The New York Times. Retrieved from: https://youtu.be/Hwd0iomlM1Y?t=521McMartin Preschool: Anatomy of a Panic | Retro Report | The New York Times. Retrieved from: https://youtu.be/2R21tWs-qCw?t=41Sybil: A Brilliant Hysteric? | Retro Report | The New York Times. Retrieved from: https://youtu.be/wRBZ0Kjisl4?t=533The Truth about Video Games and Violence – Adam Ruins Everything. Retrieved from: https://youtu.be/6P2fw7ZftF8?t=1Woman Burned by McDonald’s Hot Coffee, Then the News Media | Retro Report | The New York Times. Retrieved from: https://youtu.be/pCkL9UlmCOE?t=222