The news media in the United States have a mix of helpful and harmful effects on American citizens depending on what is being reported. However, most of the media reports in the US concerning politics tend to cause public unrest (Bushman & Anderson, 479).
The classified surveillance program the US intelligence has been used to hack the emails and phone calls of its citizens must not have been revealed by Edward Snowden, given the global fight against terrorism and the fact that general crime is getting out of control. Privacy cannot be given preference to national security issues. There was public dissatisfaction and thousands of angered Americans took to the streets to protest against privacy infringement and also to prevent the arrest of the former National Security Agent who leaked the information to the public. The same report almost got the US foreign policy status in big trouble. The United Kingdom, Russia and Germany condemned the United States for its spying activities, which hacked phone calls and emails of their delegates during UN Summits. Since then Russia has offered Snowden asylum to protect him from arrest by US authorities and this is dangerous. He could be leaking information, which may expose the weaknesses of America to its military rivals, Russia.
During the Cuban Missile Crisis, there were a lot of media speculations about the possibility of nuclear war engagement between The Soviet Union (presently Russia) and America during the reign of John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev. A certain media personality, who remained anonymous, wanted to publish a report on the certainty of the two nations to seek a nuclear military solution to the differences. President Kennedy was wise enough to call the journalist to prevent the publication. The reporter complied with the president’s request, otherwise unnecessary public fear and tension would have been very harmful (The Cuban missile crisis, 1962).
On the other hand, the news media have contributed to the creation of public awareness. If the media are sensitive enough to filter out some issues in their reports, then American public will benefit a lot. During the elementary school shootings in Connecticut, CNN, BBC and FOX News among others, did not expose the pictures and footages during that massacre which claimed over 24 lives (Sandy Hook Massacre). They understood the danger of taking photographs of victims and exposing them to the internet.
In this case, the reports were released in a more rational way and assisted parents in one way or another with regard to monitoring their children. Adam Lanza, the shooter, who also perished during the shootout with the police, was a 17 year old frustrated teenager, which happened to kill his mother before stealing her gun just before the attack. The report on the incident, compared to others which I have not mentioned, assisted parents on how to try to bring up their children in healthy atmosphere. Children must feel loved and cared for to prevent them from going extreme and to make them responsible citizens and hard-working individuals.
The news media is a very powerful tool in delivering helpful information to the public. It is important, though, that the media practise professionalism and humanity. It must be sensitive and analyze the impact of every report on the public. The United States constitution has a provision for freedom of the media, but the latter must do their job in a responsible and accepted manner. Journalists are brave professionals. Some get military embedment in battlefields and put their life on the line just to let the world have a clear picture of what is happening. To illustrate this, journalists were there during the Iraqi war and during Operation Anaconda, when America wanted to take down the Taliban in Afghanistan.
The FOX News Channel, abbreviated FNC, commonly known as Fox News, and stylized in all caps, is an American multinational conservative cable news television channel based in New York City. It is owned by Fox News Media, which itself is owned by the Fox Corporation. The channel broadcasts primarily from studios at 1211 Avenue of the Americas in Midtown Manhattan. Fox News provides service to 86 countries and overseas territories worldwide, with international broadcasts featuring Fox Extra segments during ad breaks.