The recent murders in Las Vegas have generated massive media coverage, revealing how many media sources editorialize. One such article is Cristina Corbin’s “Las Vegas massacre: Portraits of the victims.” Corbin is a reporter with Fox News, an organization largely viewed as inherently conservative. There exists in much Fox reporting a distinct ambition to speak to specific demographics in accord with Fox ideologies, and Corbin’s article reinforces this. The article only presents brief, emotionally-charged descriptions of some of the Las Vegas victims. Nothing else is provided in the article save for this abbreviated series of “memorials,” and this enables an examination of it as reflecting specific organizational ambitions.
To begin with, the article strongly emphasizes a quality in Fox News often drawing criticism. This media outlet is seen as biased, regarding its assumptions that readers share its conservative thinking. In any organizational context, the “like me” bias weakens perceptions of emotional responses which are different than the organization’s (Griffin, Phillips, and Gully 51). Consequently, Fox depends upon generating interest through the emphasis on the victims’ Christian, American belief systems, as in: “Jenny Parks… ‘was truly one of the most loving people you could ever hope to meet’” (Corbin). If bias within the Fox organization relates to expectations of emotional response, it is nonetheless bias reinforcing the values the medium insists upon. Organizational psychology then applies, in that Fox appears as an organization relying upon specific strategies in place to attract certain populations.
The element of organizational diversity is relevant here as well. Organizations may discourage employee diversity because the introduction of different cultures challenges the status quo and threatens the authority of the dominant culture (Griffin, Phillips, and Gully 53). This then translates to another feature of the article in that, as photographs of the many victims described are inserted in it, only white victims are thus presented. As fifty-nine or more people were killed, it is extremely likely that some were of minority groups, yet no image or description refers to this. This then indicates the Fox motivation to discourage diversity in terms of how diversity would alienate its core audience.
This article was selected because it very much pertains to the reality of media as innately organizational, and that motives in reporting vary based on each medium’s commitment to the factual. Corbin’s article exists as a striking case of how the organizational being of the Fox medium is consistently focused on presenting stories which are intended to resonate with mainstream, white, Christian values. The organizational psychology then profoundly shapes the reporting itself.
- Corbin, Cristina. “Las Vegas massacre: Portraits of the victims.” Fox News, 2 Oct. 2017. Web. 4 Oct. 2017.
- Griffin, Ricky W., Phillips, Jean M., and Gully, Stanley M. Organizational Behavior: Managing People and Organizations, 12th Ed. Cengage Learning, 2016.