A Deep Dive Into The Dark Side Of Media: Unpacking The Effects Of The Media’s Narrative On Events

There have been so many narratives pushed by the media and pop culture throughout our lives. Some are more believable than others, but not many of the narratives pushed can ever be true. 

The media tends to find a nugget of information and run with it. The report doesn’t have to be accurate; it simply has to resemble the truth and be just scandalous enough to catch the general public’s attention. 

We’re taking a look at how the media pushes certain narratives and how that affects the celebs involved. 

What Is A Media Narrative

A media narrative, as mentioned above, is a nugget of information that the media latches onto and exploits. There are many examples of this. It works because the media follows the seven elements of storytelling: having characters, a theme, a plot, a setting, a point of view, and figurative language. 

It is like being told a bedtime story about your favorite celebrity that’s also true! It’s not often that the narrative is true, though, not entirely anyway. The narrative often gets twisted if the story is not exciting enough on its own.  

How Are Media Narratives Used

Once there is an exciting narrative going around, for example, the latest Kardashian drama, the media will latch onto it and run with it. A million different media outlets will all speculate on one fact that was twisted in the first place. 

Khloe Kardashian has been seen wearing a diamond ring on her left hand, and she has also been seen to be getting closer with her child’s father, Tristan Thompson. Naturally, the media has grabbed onto this story with both hands, and there are so many articles using the same facts in a different way to push their narrative. Some reports say they’ll never be back together; some say they have been for months and others think that Kardashian might be engaged to somebody else. 

Media Narratives We’ve Experienced 

Aside from the hundred different Kardashian media narratives, we have experienced so many. Celebs cannot leave their house in a different car without the media pushing a divorce or promotion narrative. 

Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth are shining examples of this. The media pushed several different narratives about their relationship from when they got together until the time they got divorced. Some media narratives even fed off others with articles saying that the media caused the pair to break up. 

Another media narrative that we are still being fed is the #FreeBritney movement. The media has exacerbated fan’s concerns for Britney Spears into something much darker. It started with fans upset that Spears’ father got to dictate how her money should be spent and has morphed into a witch hunt for the people abusing Britney. There is no evidence that Britney Spears is being abused, but the media has many people convinced that this is the case. 

Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle being constantly pitted against each other is another absurd media narrative that stormed the world. These two women are unique individuals and are under no obligation to act, dress or talk similarly. The media used this narrative to create a villain and hero narrative where there should only have been family. 

Older Media Narratives 

You might think that media narratives have only recently begun because of social media. However, media narratives have been being pushed for far longer. Audrey Hepburn is an example of a much older media narrative. 

Hepburn was an iconic movie star who amassed many fans in her 63 years on this earth, but her career was not void of controversy. The star was a tall, relatively thin woman. Naturally, the media couldn’t just leave her stature down to genetics; they dug deeper. 

However, when the media digs deeper, they tend to dig into leads that have no factual basis behind them. The media decided that Hepburn’s weight must be because she was anorexic. This narrative was pushed until everybody who knew of the actress knew too of her anorexia. 

Her son recently went on the record as saying that his mother was never anorexic and that she was never anorexic and that she enjoyed eating a little bit of everything. This story is the perfect example of a media narrative that was pushed that simply wasn’t true but was believed by millions. 

How Media Narratives Affect The People In Them

Sharyl Atkisson, a well-known journalist and TV correspondent, wrote an incredibly informative piece about how media narratives directly affected her life. Atkisson was working at CBS news and decided to quit. She did not give a reason as to why she was leaving. 

However, once she left CNS News, there was news to say that she had quit her job because of liberal media bias. Ironically, the real reason that Atkisson left CBS News was that she could not handle reporting on narratives rather than facts. 

Atkisson was portrayed as a once rational journalist who had gone crazy, as well as a liberal who had decided that there was more money in the republican movement. If either of these stories had gone viral, it could have potentially been highly damaging to Atkisson’s career. 

Atkisson is an investigative journalist who has since begun exposing smear campaigns and false narratives for what they are. She posts videos on her TikTok and Instagram pages that fact checks many stories and reveal just how many stories we hear are false narratives.

Written By:
Daniella Segell

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