Media & Conflict

Saturday, September 20, 2008

By: Pat Tierney

This past week I had the opportunity to hit the McCain Palin campaign trail during their mid-west tour. One of their largest rallies, was right here in Iowa, at an airport hanger in Cedar Rapids.

Having a photography background really makes me key into the press pool photographers. This Cedar Rapids event was no different. The rally started off with the excited cheers of a couple thousand McCain and Palin supporters. After only 10 minutes though the domineer changed.

From the back corner, right in front of one of the largest media platforms, a girl jumped on a man's shoulders and started yelling in protest as Sen. McCain was giving his speech. Sen. McCain calmly ignored the taunting but the press did not.

As if wild wolves on a pack of sheep, all cameras focused on this girl. Photographers we're scrambling around the press area to get that "shot."

That "shot" was taken over and over again, as Sen. McCain tried to continue his speech. As I was standing there surrounded by press, my mind couldn't help but think about the media's obsession with conflict.

Time and time again the public has seen the headlines that scream about conflict. Conflict sells papers, it attacks viewers, and will get reader attention. Some may say that the protester at the McCain Palin rally was or wasn't the biggest news from the event. But there's no questions about it - that the media had it covered all over.


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