Poverty in Media
October 9, 2007 11:06am CST
I just noticed that media today loves portraying poverty. From soap operas to game shows, it appeared that the poorest you are, the more entertaining you become. Take for example certain game shows in my country where they have to asked your reason where to spend the money and portray you as someone who really needs it. It always has to be a relative who is sick, to buy a land, build a house, and some other reasons to induce pity. It's saddening for me to see poverty in media not for any noble reason like raising awareness, but merely for entertainment value. Instead of curing poverty, they are commodifying it. But of course this is just my experience in my country. I'm interested if there is a global trend in this?
9 Oct 07
I don't really know why they do this, when infact they could've atleast put up something like that of a foundation to help poor families. As for those game shows, I already got tired and sick of it, especially after the Ultra Stampede. Instead of helping, they got into a more worst situation. After more than a year, nobody has been yet sentenced accountable for. I believe that medias, entertainers, politicians and all of them should atleast be the one's to start a foundation or even give their shares everytime they earn to contribute and help improve life here in our country.
11 Oct 07
Yes! My thoughts exactly. In helping people, they should look at the grand scheme of things, rather than helping isolated cases. The Ultra Stampede was a terrible time in game show history, and just goes to show how far people can go just for an opportunity for money - and the game developers capitalized on it. And now the same show faces another challenge, accusations of cheating on the way they conduct their show. If this is true, then I would really think that their show was just, well, for show - without the intention of helping people. Instead, duping the very people they portray to help.
11 Oct 07
I don't really know if we'll get to see some results on their investigation about it, I believe they have some influences in the government that allows them to continue their irregularities. It's obvious that they do this for the SHOW, they could offer help "off the cam" but they instead used the opportunity to topple the other program that they have dreamt for a long time to remove off the air. But I guess that'll happen only in their dremas, it's credibility and responsibility that is important in running a show and not just the money..
18 Oct 07
Ive never noticed that theyve been doing this. But poverty is everywhere, its not like you can hide from it. If youre in america and youre in poverty its nones fault but your own; maybe the media could be doing something different to help the poor instead of entertaining us by them , but its not their problem un til the poor stand up and work for a living stop being so lazy in America! I love America Our country!
19 Oct 07
This is actually one bad ideology in America, where they portray poverty as no one's fault but the person. It brings a social problem to the level of personal trouble, not considering the many structural constraints that impedes individual social mobility. Unequal education, racial and gender discrimination, unemployment, and many other contingent factors like economic inflation. Though there are indeed many things that may be a fault of the individual, we must not be too quick in reducing it to his level without consideration of his social environment. It's blaming the victim. To further stress my point, why not look on the otherside of the equation towards the rich people? You'll find out that most of them didn't get rich because they exerted too much effort. It is also a matter of inheritance. And the fact that rich kids already have it all going for them - good education, leadership lessons, and other means of acquiring further social and economic capital in the future. It's a vicious cycle, and the ideology you hold only legitimizes the equality. That given, I thank you for replying. :-)
• United States
10 Oct 07
I think the much more important question is the why the corporate-owned media portrays poor people in the way it does. Specifically, why does the media treat poverty as a question of individual choice and personal responsibility? We live in a system in which a few people are able to amass unimaginable wealth BECAUSE the overwhelming majority are poor. The majority of populating, the working class, creates the wealth of the world and yet the rich have created a system whereby they steal that wealth from the rest of us. Bill Gates does not work a billion times harder than a school teacher. Corporate media moguls like Rupert Murdoch are a part of that small segment of society which steals from the rest of us. Karl Marx wrote so truly so many years ago that the ruling ideas of any given age are the ideas of the ruling class. Why does the media portray poor people as lazy, incompetent, and selfish? Because to tell the truth would destroy the fragile system that the ruling class has built up over the last few centuries.
10 Oct 07
In some way, I agree with Marxist ideology, and to relegate it to a mere narrative without basis is a fallacy committed by those who are not very familiar to it. Meritocracy is also a grand ideology, propagated by capitalism to the point that individuals of such societies are made to think that it is the only way to go. But statistically, are we speaking of a great trend where those that work hard are ultimately rewarded? Those people mentioned are statistical exceptions, take the percentage of the rich and see that only a handful of them didn't grow rich because of hereditary succession. As for the original reply, I agree with your point. We should look at the greater social condition rather than focusing merely on individual agents. This is reminscent of C.W. Mills' sociological imagination, where personal troubles must always be linked with societal concerns. Biography is also in some way a factor of history, and vice versa. To look at the problem in the individual level is to ignore the social issue that the individual himself is a part of.
10 Oct 07
I agree with you,it's very saddening,the poor ones are being used and in a way I think being abused also. Soap Operas are much better because we know it's not for real but for the game shows..I wonder what's goin on with the poeple behind those shows. Do they really want to help or to entertain or to gain even more money..
10 Oct 07
Soap operas are bad too if they show that the poor will someday, by some twist of fate, become rich. It's false ideology and it is oftentimes internalized by people to the point that they will have false hopes. But yeah, in a way we know that that they are not real, we just have to be careful on their subtle influence. I also agree that we don't really know their motivation. Granted, some personalities really want to help, but looking at the bigger picture, are they really helping in the long run? Thanks for replying!