I would like to continue to discuss the role of the media in today’s society. I want to add on a couple of final thoughts to our conversation last Thursday. Some people think the negative criticism that Nike received was only a good thing. One reason is that the media and the government helped influence Nike to finally change and enforce their international regulations. They made the factories safer and changed the minimal age for the workers. Another reason is they allowed other companies to gain a larger share of the market. If a company like Reebok has better international labor regulations then I feel like they should do better in the sports apparel market. Why should a company like Nike, that treats their workers more like an animal than a person, be more successful than a respectable ethical company? The media helped shed light on all of Nike’s reports and explain how they were false and didn’t show the real working conditions in Indonesia. If it wasn’t for the media, I think the public would have believed Nike’s reports and nothing would have ever changed with their international labor practices. I think the media did its job effectively and the only party to blame here was Nike. If Nike had respectable and humane working conditions in foreign countries then Nike would never had received such negative attention.
I would like to bring up an example of when the media did not do their job and reported false information to the public. I just read the book Where Men Win Glory by Jon Krakauer ( a great book and story). It’s about the amazing life of Pat Tillman. He was a good player in the NFL and turned down the money and fame to serve his country. Tragically, he died by friendly fire and the government tried very hard to lie about how he died. The government wanted to use this celebrity’s death as a feel good story which would get the support of the public about their war in the Middle East. The government released several reports about Tillman’s death through the media which the public believed for a long time. The government has too much power over the media and can practically convince them to report anything they want. Also, the government only received positive comments about the war and the death of Pat Tillman. I think the media should have been more careful about what they reported when discussing this sensitive subject. After many years, the truth finally came out about Tillman’s death and the government received the negative attention and blame that they deserved.