Arizona News - 10/01

The Wild, Wild West and Big Media Dust-Bowls

TUCSON, Ariz. - The expected top news story of the day on January 8, 2011, the anticipation of an iPhone adaptation from Verizon during a press conference in New York. Quickly, both Verizon and Apple took a back seat to the media advance on Arizona. Evidently, once breaking news of the Tucson shooting declined, media talking heads began fueling indiscriminate comments related to more nationally familiar faces while Sarah Palin crouched into defensive mode becoming a target of Tea-Party and Left-Wing activists who less-than-politely pointed out her (Palin) recent Facebook images and posts which have since been deleted by her staff.

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The assassination attempt of a U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and the murder of Federal Chief Judge John Roll and others have sparked more than pundit subject matter. Although a mass panic was averted via the media, an ever-silent chill has run amok among federal and state representatives nationwide. In one instance this past weekend, more than 800 individuals participated in a conference call in Ohio to talk about security. Attendees included members of "Congress, their spouses, chiefs of staff and others" as reported by the Marietta Times.

One often wonders what calamities life may bring. We remember where we were on the morning of 9/11, how we felt after the Columbine school shooting, and even more recently the school shooting in Omaha. Today I have tried to wrap my mind around the incidents here in Tucson while trying most desperately to comprehend its inclusion among reports of bank robberies, gang shootings, home invasions, drug smugglers and pedophile arrests throughout Arizona.

The events in Tucson over the weekend are much more than a local shooting. Media has maximized the coverage with over 40,000 combined articles and subject matter covering the incident within the first 48 hours. This causing pundits and talking heads to use our state and more specifically our town, as an excuse for media face-time to accuse others, inciting national debate amid horrendous accusations-while ruining others reputations. All while pointing the finger at Arizona as the hot bed of controversy due to the more recently publicized immigration policies enacted by Governor Jan Brewer. I guess if there needed to be a spark to ignite a national fire, this could very well be the incident, yet, not without local repercussions.

Moreover, we as local citizens sit back and wonder why big media chooses to embrace such rhetoric. Is it because they want more ratings? A larger audience perhaps? Or do they just wish to remain a well funded minority speaking on behalf of a majority who do not necessarily agree?

This little media provided a live blog of breaking incidents with direct contact to individuals on the scene in Tucson on the day in reference. Now with over 19,000+ articles on the main subject, all local media have since been swallowed up, their voices drowned in a sea of big media and the domination of the most popular piece of internet real estate in the world, you guessed it... Google News.

AZR would like to point out that the Tucson Citizen, KOLD, KGUN, Arizona Daily Star and KVOA Tucson News as well as others (Tucson Sentinel, Arizona Republic, provided excellent fact based local coverage of the unfortunate incidents here in Tucson with the assistance of citizen based media. Furthermore, large media such as CNN relied heavily on information provided by local media as news broke, all without mentioning their name nor providing credit to local broadcast and print reporters.

It is most difficult for anyone to find local accurate coverage of the events due to large media takeover of major news boards. That said; in response to the dozens of emails we received, were just not willing to feed the fire for bigger ratings at the expense of the locals affected by such tragic events.

The people of this city are reeling with grief and are both shocked and saddened, isn't that enough for us all or is there further need to insinuate rhetorical slander from both sides of the fence with the people of Tucson as your target.

It will be up to us as individuals, representatives of a fine community, who set an example in the face of such trying times. Life will continue here in Tucson-though not without remembrance; the big media will move on, leaving our quaint little town to wallow in the dust bowls created by their frenzy.

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