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Media

Why the focus on Jussie Smollet and not Josh Duggar?

 

Trigger warning: this post mentions child sexual abuse. If this is triggering for you, please proceed with care.

Last week, there were two major court cases.

One featured Empire actor, Jussie Smollett. The other, 19 Kids and Counting’s Josh Duggar.

Journaists and YouTube commentators commented on both cases. Guess who got more attention from mainstream media?

Jussie Smollett

A jury found Jussie Smollett guilty of disorderly conduct and five counts of lying to police. This followed an incident in 2019 where Smollett falsely claimed that he’d been attacked by MAGA supporters. 

The media and celebrities took Smollett under their wing and praised him for his bravery. However, Smollett’s story collapsed pretty quickly.

At the end of January, Smollett refused to give police his phone as part of the investigation. Smollett eventually surrendered his phone. Police gained two people of interest: brothers Obabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, originally from Nigeria.

In February, police found out the relationshiop betwen Smollett and the Osundairo brothers. On the 20 February, police charged Smollett with disorderly conduct and filing a false police report.

There was footage of the Osundairo brothers buying the masks t worn by Smollett’s ‘attackers’. On the 21 February, police arrested Smollett. Empire’s executive producers suspended Smollett from the show. He could face up to three years in jail per offence.

Chicago police also want to sue Smollett for wasting police’s time and resources. The case has outraged the African – community when Smollett claimed that an attacker tried to attack him with a noose. This is symbolic of a lynch mob.

Black Lives Matter continues to support Smollett.

Josh Duggar

Josh Duggar can face up to 40 years in jail after he was convicted of downloading and possessing child sexual abuse material. 

When speaking about the sentence, US Attorney for Western District of Arkansas, Clay Fowlkes made a statement saying “no person was above the law”. 

This case has split the Duggar family and Jim Bob Duggar has recently lost his run for Senate in Arkansas. 

This hasn’t been the first time that the Duggars have been hit by allegations of sexual abuse. In 2015, media outlets reported that Josh had molested a number of young girls as a teenager back in 2002 and 2003. 

Due to statute of limitations, Josh couldn’t be prosecuted for these crimes.

Media’s response (and lack of)

Both the mainstream media and social media have been commenting on the Duggar and Smollett cases. 

But who has got the most attention? Jussie Smollett. This has been in Australia and the US. 

The Sky News Australia’s YouTube channel is full of videos of commentary and reporting on Jussie Smollett. 

Caleb Bond, Chris Smith and Liz Storrer discussing Jussie Smollett case
Chris Smith show one of many to report on Jussie Smollett case

Surprisingly, the newspapers has been silent on both cases. 

I haven’t seen any reporting or commentary on the Duggar case. 

I saw that Fox News have reported on both cases. However, on their Twitter, they had way more posts on Jussie Smollett. 

Where are the media’s priorities?

The media’s response has been really disappointing.

What Jussie Smollett did was stupid. . But the media’s response to it has been excessive compared to Duggar.

Duggar’s crime was appalling. Child sexual abuse has a number of negative effects. Many survivors of sexual abuse live with repercussions year after from depression, anxiety, PTSD and suicidal ideation. 

It’s something the media shouldn’t jsut ignore when it doesn’t fit their culture war narrative. 

We need to advocate for child sexual abuse survivors. It should beyond politics. 

If you are struggling mentally, you can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14

Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636

If you are in danger, don’t hesitate to call 000 or your area’s emergency number.

 

Categories
Media

Gillette ad controversy: is the media and social media trustworthy?

U.S. razor company, Gillette, caused a furore last month for their viral ad ‘The Best Men Can Be’.

If social and traditional media was anything to go by, this was an outrage. They were attacking boys and men — their primary consumers. This was #MeToo on steroids.

Hashtag #boycottgillette trended on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/socalsnowbrdr/status/1095811379741642752?s=21


 

So you’d assume that the ‘anti masculinity’ campaign would destroy Gillette. Well, no. Apparently, the campaign was actually positive.

Many U.S. consumers applauded the campaign

According to Upworthy, two studies showed that most consumers looked favourably on the campaign.

Data collected by Morning Consult found that more consumers believed that Gillette shared their values than before the campaign (42% before, 71% after). 65%of study respondents said they were more likely to buy Gilette products since the campaign.

Over four fifths (84%) of women and more than three quarters (77%) of men were either in favour or felt neutral towards the campaign. Data from Ace Metrics produced similar results.

Is the media and social media out of touch?

I am always careful when it comes to studies, especially on social issues. Too often, so – called ‘studies’ are conducted purely to confirm one’s own biases.

I don’t know the sample size of the Morning Consult study. I am also not familiar with Ace Metrics.

But, lets assume for a moment that both sets of data are a fair representation of Americans’ overall attitudes toward Gillette.That means traditional and social media did not represent mainstream public opinion. And maybe it’s not the only time.

Traditional media still a major source of news for the public

I’ve heard that U.S cable networks such as CNN and Fox are losing loyalty among the public. Meanwhile, independent news sources, including YouTube channels are rising in popularity.

Australians, too,  seem to also have little faith in the media.

A Roy Morgan study showed that journalists are generally not trusted by the public. Inaccuracies left uncorrected and biases were two major criticisms. Out of radio, TV and print news, most people surveyed, (66% for national news, 56% for world news) gained their news from TV. Print media gained the most negative responses.

Social media also deemed untrustworthy

While traditional media has its critics, social media hasn’t faired well, either. 2018 saw a backlash against social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

According to Reuters Institute, Digital News Report found that social media was facing a worldwide decline in both popularity and trust, with the U.S. leading the charge. News item were also not shared on social media as frequently as it used to

Apps such as WhatsApp and email news services are rising in popularity. However, many reported being annoyed at being bombarded with emails and notifications.

Personally, I’ve gotten increasingly annoyed by the number of statuses and ‘news’ articles that turned out to be hoaxes or just untrue. It’s made me cynical about sharing anything and now I mostly ignore a lot of articles I see posted.

I’ve also found that so much on Facebook is heavily biased, often veering to one extreme on the political/ ideological spectrum. People are often hard Left or hard conservative, with very few willing to look at multiple sides to an issue. Look, people can publish what they want. I’d just advise viewers to be wary of articles that are posted. If you read it, Google it and see if the article is factual. Many times, they aren’t.

 

Social and traditional media have issues with trust. To mainstream journalists, no offence, but pull your head in. Your viewers/ readers/ listeners deserve the truth, not just political propaganda.

What did you think of the Gillette ad and do you have any news outlets you particularly like? Let me know in the comments