Burriss: Don't watch, don't buy

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It's certainly been an interesting couple of weeks for the media: "Rolling Stone" magazine put accused terrorist Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover, and there was minute-by-minute coverage of the royal birth, both of which have generated heated debate about propriety and media overkill.

But I have a plan so you can make yourself heard and maybe even influence the way the media do business: don't buy and don't watch. This way you can protect the First Amendment and at the same time show your dissatisfaction with what the media are doing. And if you can get your friends together to do the same things, you can have even more impact.

So if there is a magazine or newspaper doing something you don't like, then don't buy it. And, you can try to convince the store that sells the magazines or newspapers not to carry them any more. If you really want to have an impact, organize a boycott of the store.

For television, get some friends together to convince your local cable system not to carry offending programs. Or don't buy products that advertise on the offending networks.

Now, you may be asking, doesn't this violate the First Amendment? Absolutely not, and that's the good part. Since the material isn't illegal or hasn't been banned by the government, you can still get it somewhere else if you want it, so there are no First Amendment issues. 

You see, ultimate control of the media rests with readers and viewers. Think of all of the television programs that have been taken off the air because people aren't watching, and think of all the newspapers and magazines that have failed because of a lack of readers.

So this plan protects everyone's right to speak and print what they want, and also protects the rights of those who do, or do not, want to read and see what the media have to offer. No controls and no pressure.

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Larry Burriss
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