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Word Count: 425
This message has been brought to you by Millions of Americans hear this commercial announcement emanating from their televisions each day yet few consider the ramifications of the words If granted five minutes of national airtime I would urge the American public to explore the implications of the commercialization of the media Indeed I would encourage individuals to research and question issues rather than relying primarily on television and other mass media for information Many Americans erroneously believe that the presence of the First Amendment ensures complete freedom of the press They consider the news media to arise from the people with the intent of serving the people In modern times however money has emerged as a new way of controlling information Advertisers network owners and stockholders all function to restrict free speech A commercial message involves stakeholders with vested interests providing essential financial backing to the media conglomerate For example a network or newspaper owner with a stake in or ties to a large industry may de-emphasize or omit information damaging to the industry Issues spanning the environment war politics business education and religion all feature at least two sides of the story Often the journalists presenting information inflect their personal opinions into the story Although these unbalanced opinions do not overtly dominate every article or news broadcast a bias or a certain slant could inevitably surface Given the difficulty of obtaining a completely unaltered account I would further encourage Americans who watch political opinion shows to research the issues before forming a firm opinion thus preventing the experts from passing on their opinions like hand-me-downs Americans should investigate the literature and facts relating to the issues they consider important This advice becomes increasingly relevant during elections when politicians undertake massive efforts to spin public ideals Accordingly television advertisements and political billboards must receive intense scrutiny A preferable avenue of determining which candidate merits ones vote involves researching his or her stance on issues
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