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More Than Meets the Eye
6,710 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has the 'economic downturn' been worsened by the constant media attention?

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4,758 Posts
It’s no secret that the economy has been in a sharp decline over the last year. More and more businesses are closing, and the unemployment rate is at one of its highest level ever. Of course all of this has been getting a massive amount of media attention. The auto industry in shambles, bail outs of big corporations, and the turbulence that is the stock market has all been the focal point of News Shows across the US.

So the question that has to be asked is: Has the 'economic downturn' been worsened by the constant media attention?

In all honesty, no, if anything there is a positive affect from people having the constant reminder that the economy is not in good shape and the frivolous spending of the American consumer is partially to blame.

The constant media attention has initially put some fear into the consumer. People are tightening up there spending now and getting their personal finance in orders, with the outlook of the economy staying where it is at or worsening. So, obviously people are spending less right now and although it may initially lead to some rough patches with the economy, in the long run it’s going to pay off with smarter spending by consumers.

Look at the housing market when it was in its prime. Home sales were at their highest levels ever, on top of low interest rates, and the willingness of banks to right high risk loans to borrow. Well the bubble burst and the first example of people living behind there means where exposed. High risk commercial development turned into busts, and people that had no business owning a $250,000 couldn’t find a way to make their payments when there adjustable rate mortgages kicked it. The media attention really helped to shed a light on something so obvious, DON’T LIVE BEYOND YOUR MEANS!

It wasn’t just the housing market; it carried over to frivolous spending in other areas. People buying cars they couldn’t afford, electronics, the list could go on and on. The economy was booming, but the way it was going it was bound to crash. Yea everything looked good, but it was bound to crash down eventually, with the type of spending that was taking place, people LIVING BEYOND THERE MEANS!

The media is having an effect, but it is a positive one. Bringing attention to all the mistakes of the past, will lead to a stronger economy down the road. Although the economy may not be as robust as it was before the downturn, it will be stronger overall with smarter spending.

Jim Morrison
2,972 Posts
Ladies and Gentlemen, we live in uncertain economic times. I mean, it’s a fact, is it not? Workers are being laid off, Corporations are filing for bankruptcy, Mr Average Joe with his wife and 2.2 children have had to made cutbacks in their household, which means mincemeat instead of T-bone steak, and a Nintendo Wii instead of a Playstation 3 for Christmas. Everything is melancholy. It’s all doom and gloom, and basically we’re all fucked.

Or is that just what the media want us to believe…

The question raised for this debate is the following:
“Has the economic downturn' been worsened by the constant media attention?”
To which I answer with an unequivocal ‘Yes’.

It’s a proven fact that the media’s success lies in its ability to spin a story; generally negatively; in order to produce the greatest reaction from its viewers, readers or listeners. As with all ‘perfect’ news stories, this ‘Economic Downturn’ is here to stay, headlining our news for another 4-6 years. The fact that this whole issue is completely over bloated and stale as old bread is irrelevant. The ‘far reaching consequences’ of a recession, as it goes global is enough to fill the front page of any paper (and incidentally, the pockets of any journalist).

What it all boils down to ladies and gentlemen is Perception.

Let’s return to Mr Average Joe and his family.

Much like billions of people the world over, Mr Joe reads the newspaper before work and watches the evening news. He gleans all his information about current affairs and world news, as well as things like sporting results and weather forecasts effectively from one source. The ‘Authority’ figures, such as the government and economic advisers speak to him via a singular medium. The Media.
As an owner of a small business, Average pays close attention to the business reports and the so called ‘experts’ who offer; often contradictory opinions; on economic advice via interviews or columns. He trusts the media to tell it to him straight. To inform him and to a degree, guide him, not only towards future business decisions, but also to the most effective method of keeping his family fed and safe. And here in lies the problem.

The Media are bastards. The unparalleled amount of bias and scaremongering contained within the reams and reams of reports and articles does nothing except mislead Mr Joe. In creating monikers such as the “Global Financial Crisis” and “Credit Crunch”, the press feast on the emotions that are evident whenever he reads his paper, watches his news, or listens to his radio. He relies as much upon them to spread the news of the world, as they do for him to eat it all up. The journalism circle of life. Hakuna Ma-fucking-tata.

I won’t be ignorant enough to deny the facts. This recession has hit, is hitting, and is yet to hit (depending on where you live in the world), and will probably get worse before it gets better. However, I also won’t be stupid enough to applaud the international media’s efforts. Whether they like it or not,the fact remains that humanity is driven by the thirst for information; particularly current information; and the interpretations made from this information is what dictates a lifestyle (such as Mr Average Joe’s and his families).

As a finale, I leave you with this quote from an ‘average joe’ who responded to a blog on “Financial Crisis in the Media”

“Are we facing financial troubles right now? Without a doubt.
But the media is playing a huge role in fanning the flames and making things worse than they really are.”

Reference 1

4,407 Posts
I'm rather busy, but here's my non-thesis take.

In the current US economy which was built up by speculation (buying commodities in the hopes that the price soars), constant negative media attention has hurt the confidence of people willing to invest in stocks and bonds.

I'll be putting a bit more in in a few hours, I have to go to work.
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