Pinocchio: Media on Sensationalism

Pinocchio is a Korean television drama series that managed to portray the ruthless boundaries of journalism. The series, which aired from November 2014 to January 2015, showed how the media, through, sensationalism destroyed and made miserable the life of Ki Ha-myung and his family members.

The media is a very powerful institution in the society. It can either make people famous or ruin one’s priced reputation forever. The series also showed how some reporters refuse to honor and follow the journalism code of ethics and are only in the industry to manipulate events and gain popularity and market. This defeats the purpose of journalism, which is to inform the masses with the truth through accurate and credible reportage.

In Pinocchio, the media managed to defame Ki Ho-sang, the chief fireman of a firefighting squad. Ki Ho-sang was blamed for the death of nine firemen and was said to be hiding. In truth, Ki Ho-sang died a hero along with the firemen for trying to save alleged factory workers inside the burning building. The media manipulated the audience by making them believe the opposite of what really happened. Although it was not entirely the media’s fault to have obtained falsified truth, it was supposed to be their job to investigate and expose the truth. The media immediately believed the witnesses, who told lies, and did not conduct further investigations.

A Lot of damage was inflicted to the family of Ki Ho-sang. His wife committed suicide and his children grew to live without the perfect family they used to have. Ki Ha-myung, the younger son, changed his identity to Dal Po and Ki Jae-myung, the eldest, lived his life to despise the media. He managed to get revenge for his father and reunite with his brother, however, was put behind bars for murder.

Song Cha Ok, a reporter of the MSC broadcasting corporation, is an example of a fame-oriented reporter. During the coverage of the fire, her husband called her to say that they are getting divorced; instead, she made it looked like she was talking to someone who knew an eyewitness to the fire incident. She said that the eyewitness was in a store to mislead other reporters be the first to get the coverage in the hospital. This shows how journalists are forced to be competent to be able to get the better angle of news stories. She had to lie to be able to raise her networks’ market. The media also looked very insensitive about people’s emotions. It was always business over privacy and love.

Sensationalism was the prime delinquency portrayed in the drama series. Media cared too much about impact and attention rather than authenticity, proof and facts. Media showed the angle that people wanted to see, not the angle that people really needed to see.

It can also be inferred that the media is not always right. Most times, the media just looks like it is right. The media only shows a portion of what really happened, but not the whole of it. There was a lack of balance and composition, and excess in biased views and phenomenalized stories.

The media is supposed to be the tool to a well-informed community and journalists are supposed to work in accordance to the journalism code of ethics. However, it is inevitable for the media to side with the wrong stories and commit mistakes. The best way to defeat media delinquencies is proper training, thorough research, unbiased perspectives and irrefutable investigations.


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