With so much drama, hype, and propaganda, the media machine drowns society. No longer seeming like the source to get information, the news simply presents what advances its corporate agenda. Stories don’t have to be meaningful or important, the intention is to excite the masses and drive ratings.
Topics are covered to exaggerate the drama which captivates the nation and world. For the media, the boring truth is often less important than the market shares that determine profits for stakeholders. And from that business perspective, regardless of how (in)significant news ultimately is, the news presented can simply be the information that has the best financial impact for a company. Data can be found to support pretty much anything.
If people base their idea of what is important from what seems to capture attention, then they actually don’t know what is important -- they only know what is trending. This has been the true story. Compared to real news, and as the weekend approaches, many passionately hooked fans are more entertained by next week’s exciting episode.
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This isn't official advice from a lawyer, but after reading articles/reports about varying court decisions, it doesn't take a lawyer to see that loosely-enforced copyright laws regarding "fair use" are clear as mud. Supposedly, it is legal to photograph and film people without their permission, but only as long as they aren't the sole focus of the content. Ultimately, legality becomes an issue when the intentions and effects/results of content use cause damages or losses to the rightsholder(s). Someone else's copyright image(s) or exhibits are not the main part of this article. The factual captions below the images attempt to demonstrate various ways to (without needing permission) fairly use copyright images and other content for your articles.
In report writing, it is generally understood that each sentence, paragraph, and/or claim should be looked at individually and written credibly as a fact. For example, explicit permission is not required to fairly and simply state the fact that author Jane Friedman, and creator of article, A Writer’s Guide to Permissions and Fair Use, said, “you have to consider, for each use, whether or not it’s necessary to seek explicit, legal permission from the work’s creator or owner,” however; the writer’s guide and author, were still referenced/stated in "good faith" and credited. An italicized note said, “Remember that crediting the source does not remove the obligation to seek permission.” When something might not fall into the fair-use category, then experts agree to seek permission(s).
Is the content being stated as a fact? Titles, names, companies, and places are facts. When presented, interpreted, and credited, things other people said and their images also become stated facts for others to include and further analyze. Scribbling your name on someone else's work (claiming it’s yours) is lying, illegal, and unfair. Legal fair use is to identify/reference someone else and their work (attribution) and then (with your name) add more/do extra work to interpret it (commentary/criticism and/or parody of copyright material for a limited and transformative purpose).
Try to find examples of how others widely use the same content or same type of content. Businesses have different stances, however; since it can be difficult and expensive to follow up every case, as long as an instance doesn't become the company's biggest problem, there probably won’t be a lawsuit filed, however; by fairly crediting sources, and being a team player, it is easier to earn industry respect. The Associated Press said, "You are solely responsible for determining whether or not "fair use" or similar doctrines apply in various jurisdictions and/or whether any permissions, licenses, clearances and/or releases are required in connection with any proposed use of the Content. If You are unsure, You are responsible for contacting competent legal counsel." Do not source from uncredited photos/media or steal paid stock photo content. Some free stock photos that usually do not require attribution are available on sites such as Pexels and MorgueFile. Also visit the Creative Commons search page for seemingly limitless amounts of more free content, often with no attribution requirements from CC image sites like Pixabay, the Open Clip Art Library, and Flickr.
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, “the freedom of press, protected by the First Amendment, is critical to a democracy (or other form of government in which the people have power) and the government is accountable to the people.” It is generally understood that a free press was decided to prevent the government from interfering with distribution of information and opinions. Peter Millett, Libya, Tripoli Ambassador from the UK Foreign & Commonwealth office wrote that the media’s, “role is to inform, criticise and stimulate debate. The backbone of any democracy is an independent, professional and responsible media.” The ACLU also added, “a free media functions as a watchdog that can investigate and report on government wrongdoing.” Over the last two-hundred years, U.S. free press laws have also changed several times.
The widely-accepted (at the time) Telecommunications Act of 1996 was intended to modernize the last communications act of 1934. Michael Corcoran, journalist from Truthout, wrote, “Twenty years later the devastating impact of the legislation is undeniable: About 90 percent of the country’s major media companies are owned by six corporations.” According to Peter DiCola and Kristin Thomson, in a report from the Future of Music Coalition, suggested that for decades in some places media consolidation has been so extreme, that the largest four firms in most markets have controlled 70-90 percent of the market share (or more).
The concern affecting the U.S. free press isn’t only seen through news outlet media consolidation, but it’s also heard with radio, which every week, “reaches nearly 95 percent of the U.S. population over the age of 12.” Corcoran explained, “In 1995, before the Telecommunications Act was passed, companies were not allowed to own more than 40 radio stations.” DiCola and Thomson continued, “since passage of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, Clear Channel [now called iHeartMedia] has grown from 40 stations to 1,240 stations – 30 times more than congressional regulation previously allowed.”
These kinds of changes, experts suggest, have opened the flood gates for monopolistic competition, because the with the increased fees, infrastructure costs, and licensing requirements, etc., the raised barriers to enter the market actually have made it tougher for new emerging sources to join. John F. Kennedy said that “knowledge is power,” and quoted Thomas Jefferson seeming to further suggest that as long as everyone is enlightened/educated with information, then everyone (people) can make the right choices to protect freedom.
In another part of his speech, he said, "no President should fear public scrutiny of his program. For from that scrutiny comes understanding; and from that understanding comes support or opposition. And both are necessary. I am not asking your newspapers to support the Administration, but I am asking your help in the tremendous task of informing and alerting the American people. For I have complete confidence in the response and dedication of our citizens whenever they are fully informed." Read Kennedy’s full speech at the JFK Library Website.