News media deficiencies…

News mediaDr. Michael J. O’Connell, New Hampshire commented that the awesome deficiencies of news media are demonstrated daily.  We are presented stories that have something to do with informing, but more especially attracting.  News is a commodity sold to the readers and viewers.  Information sells, but only if extraordinary, alarming, mind blowing, you get the idea.  And Americans appear to accept this trade off or they would not continue to watch, read and support the various news outlets.  If information were not potentially profitable, there would not be the mad dash to create and to soak up the latest sensational headlines and sacrifice the more complete picture.

How often have big news stories been dropped because they simply will no longer grab attention?  All the time!  Most Americans, and undoubtedly more “advanced” populations worldwide, suffer a very large fatigue factor.  Their attention span is short, and for the media, difficult to hold for long, because following a story until it reaches a final conclusion takes time and consistent cerebral effort, an effort that neither the providers of information, nor the imbibers of information, have.  Sad but true.  Let’s examine a few examples.

Egypt, a country that underwent the media’s darling “Arab Spring” a few years back, sold as an apparent awakening of a major country in the Arab world to the benefits of a more open and democratic society.  To make a very long story short, the elected Islamic regime didn’t fare well, was tossed out on its ears, and replaced by a militaristic government.  But there is no attempt by the media to follow this story ‘horizontally’ to put together a lesson of some sort.  Instead the more ‘’vertical’ short lived presentation of Arab Spring leaves most Americans who follow the news at all (surprisingly few) wondering what the hell happened to Egypt?  How are the people doing now?  Is the elective process to be restored?

The ongoing reluctance of the Turks to enter the conflict on its border, with yet another Syrian town about the fall to ISIS, and presenting a direct threat to Turkey is puzzling.  Why doesNews media 3 Turkey do little more than corral the fleeing refugees?  Well I know part of the answer, which is a mix of politics and history.  But the average follower of the crisis does not, because again the process of revealing the full horizontal story is not one that sells newspapers or time slots on TV.  How pathetic?

A portion of the Philippines was devastated if not annihilated by a huge cyclone several years ago.  The media coverage was detailed, showing the world the occasional absolute horrors of nature.  After two weeks of daily coverage, poof, no more information.  How is the impacted population doing now?  How has the inevitable recovery occurred?  What does it look like?  Who has been responsible?  Nothing chic or sexy about this story, so the media doesn’t dive in, and the tiny minority of Americans who imbibe the available news and seek to learn a complete picture and understand what they see and hear, fill in the gaps with assumptions and misimpressions, and have learned next to nothing.  So it’s on to the next attraction.


About Dr. Michael J. O'Connell, New Hampshire
Dr. Michael J. O'Connell of Barrington, New Hampshire, has forged a distinguished career spanning over three decades, as entrepreneur, physician, businessman, philanthropist and healthcare consultant. As former owner, administrator and CEO of a 225+ employee multi-specialty medical practice, Dr. O'Connell has dedicated his entire professional life to helping patients with family medicine and especially those experiencing chronic pain and all aspects of addiction. Since selling his family of healthcare businesses, he has never once contemplated retirement despite his rich and fulfilling journey, but instead has turned his focus to consulting in an industry starved for courage and creativity. Having weathered many political, technological and legal challenges, there is hardly a storm he has not confronted, a tempest he has not quelled, an urgent need he has not met. While the talking heads and self-proclaimed experts in the field have assumed the conventions and standards of the times, Dr. O'Connell does not believe in merely reflecting the herd mentality, but rather in leading the charge. Eschewing political correctness, Dr. O'Connell says and does what needs saying and doing, and not what the mindless masses expect. In addition to the continual education afforded by his variegated life experiences, Dr O'Connell earned his BS in Biochemistry at the University of NH in 1975, his Medical Degree from Dartmouth College in 1981, interned at Walter Reed Medical Center in 1982, Residency/Fellowship at UCSF in1986, and finished his Masters in Healthcare Administration at UNH in 1995. Dr. O’Connell enjoys many outdoor activities, including rock climbing, snowboarding, hiking, and golf. Through the decades Dr. O'Connell has supported many non-profit charities to include the St. Charles Home in Rochester NH, the Tri City VNA and Hospice, Hyder House, and Cocheco Valley Humane Society. To the latter organization alone Dr. O'Connell has donated over $180,000 and pledged another $250,000 in the “Bring-Us-Home” campaign for a new building. His “Matching Donations Christmas drive” has generated over $175,000 in charitable giving from the community. In addition Dr. O'Connell has participated in many dozens of other volunteer and donation efforts locally as well as in Africa and the Dominican Republic. For a listing of how I gave back to the community during my career and continue to do see:

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