"The reputation of anyone who is subjected to media scrutiny will eventually be diminished."

  [Sample Essay]

  The intensity of today's media coverage has been greatly magnified by the sheer number and types of media outlets that are available today. Intense competition for the most revealing photographs and the latest information on a subject has turned even minor media events into so-called "media frenzies". Reporters are forced by the nature of the competition to pry ever deeper for an angle on a story that no one else has been able to uncover. With this type of media coverage, it does become more and more likely that anyone who is subjected to it will have his or her reputation tarnished, as no individual is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. The advances in technology have made much information easily and instantaneously available. Technology has also made it easier to dig further than ever before into a person's past, increasing the possibility that the subject's reputation may be harmed.

  The above statement is much too broad, however. "Anyone" covers all people all over the world. There are people whose reputations have only been enhanced by media scrutiny. There are also people whose reputations were already so poor that media scrutiny could not possibly diminish it any further. There may very well be people that have done nothing wrong in the past, at least that can be discovered by the media, whose reputations could not be diminished by media scrutiny. To broadly state that "anyone" subjected to media coverage will have his or her status sullied implies that everyone's reputation worldwide is susceptible to damage under any type of media scrutiny. What about children, particularly newborn children? What about those people whose past is entirely unknown?

  Another problem with such a broad statement is that it does not define the particular level of media scrutiny. Certainly there are different levels of media coverage. Does merely the mention of one's name in a newspaper constitute media scrutiny? What about the coverage of a single event in someone's life, for example a wedding or the birth of a baby? Is the media coverage of the heroic death of a firefighter or police officer in the line of duty ever going to diminish that person's reputation? It seems highly unlikely that in these examples, although these people may have been subjected to media scrutiny, these individual's reputations are undamaged and potentially enhanced by such exposure.

  Without a doubt, there are many examples of individual's whose reputations have been diminished by media scrutiny. The media's uncovering of former U.S. President Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky will most likely overshadow the entire eight years of his administration. Basketball superstar Michael Jordan's sterling reputation has been tarnished more than once by the media; first by media coverage of his gambling habits, then most recently (and in a much more harmful manner) by news reports of his marital infidelities and the divorce from his wife of thirteen years. Fame and fortune can turn an ordinary individual into a media target where reporters will stop at almost nothing to "dig up dirt" that will sell more newspapers or entice more viewers to watch a television program. It could even be argued that media scrutiny killed Princess Diana as her car sped away from the privacy-invading cameras of reporters in Paris. There is no doubt that there are a large number of people who have been hurt in one way or another by particularly intense media scrutiny.

  In summary, it seems impossible that for every person that is subjected to media scrutiny, his or her reputation will eventually be diminished. Millions of people are mentioned in the media every day yet still manage to go about their lives unhurt by the media. Normal individuals that are subjected to media scrutiny can have their reputation either enhanced or damaged depending on the circumstances surrounding the media coverage. The likelihood of a diminished reputation from the media rises proportionally with the level of notoriety that an individual possesses and the outrageousness of that person's behavior. The length of time in the spotlight can also be a determining factor, as the longer the person is examined in the media, the greater the possibility that damaging information will be discovered or that the individual will do something to disparage his or her reputation. But to broadly state that media scrutiny will diminish anyone's reputation is to overstate the distinct possibility that, given a long enough time and a certain level of intensity of coverage, the media may damage a person's reputation.







  对于这样一项笼统的陈述而言,它的另一个问题是没能明晰界定媒体聚焦的具体程度。媒体的报道毫无疑问存在程度上的差别。只在报纸上提及一个人的名字,是否算作媒体聚焦?对某人一生中单独一次事件(如婚礼或孩子出生)的报道这也算媒介聚焦吗?媒体对消防队员或警官因公而死的英雄壮举进行报道,难道也会毁损该人的名声吗?在这些实例中,其名声受损的事情极不可能发生。虽然这些人可能被置于媒体审视之下,但其名声却会完好无损,且潜在地可因这些披露而得以提高。 毫无疑问,也有许多例子能证明一个人的名声会被媒体审视所毁损。媒体对美国前总统Bill Clinton与Monica Lewinsky的风流韵事的揭露极有可能会将其八年的执政生涯置于阴影之中。超级篮球明星Michael Jordan一世英名也被媒体不止一次地玷污,首先是被有关其赌习的媒体报道,其次是最近--且以一种更具致命性伤害的方式--被有关他婚姻不忠以及与其结婚13年的妻子分道扬镳的报道。当媒体记者不择手段去挖掘某些可促使其报纸销量大增的"猛料"时,或去诱惑更多的观众观看某一电视节目时,名和利就会将一个普通人转变为媒体追踪的目标。我们甚至可以提出这样一种论点,即正是媒体的审视将Diana王妃置于死地,随着她的汽车去竭力逃脱巴黎街头的记者们那侵犯隐私的相机镜头。毫无疑问,肯定有许多人被极其强烈的媒体聚焦以一种方式或另一种方式所伤害。