If you haven't read Jeff's latest Editorial, named www.DeathAndDestruction.com, I suggest you spend the 2 minutes and read it. You'll be most likely as a coaster enthusiast to agree that the media has struck a dry spell. "Look! A coaster train stuck on the lift! At least 12 injuries have to be on there!" ugh. Don't they know that things like stacked trains and stopped lifts are for the SAFETY of riders, not because some disaster has taken place? What does everyone else think about this whole fiasco?
Oh yeah, btw Jeff, I'm suprised that one guy didn't say the trains blew up like in RCT when the trains collided.
Reporters making a big issue out of something small...seems normal to me. They are haterz (had to add the Z). Its not fair to the park industy. I don't see them saying planes aren't safe or anything like that. Pretty soon we will hear recalls on all Arrow coasters 1996 and back
You know why the media blows things out of proportion? Because that's what the public wants. The way the media behaves is a reflection of the public's attitude. These days people want flashy in your face over the top things. You ever watch Fox? "When Senior Citizens Go Bad, tonight on Fox" This is what the public wants, big splashy things. The attention level of people is at an all time low and what it takes to get that attention is at an all time high. Why do so many tabloids sell? Because people like sensationalism. This isn't really the media's fault, it's society's.
*** This post was edited by Figaro on 8/8/2001. ***
I really praise Jeff when it comes to the editorial. It seemed that it was full of anger towards the press. I feel ya on that one. If at AP puts something out then the whole world will believe it and I just think that is wrong. At lease the coaster nuts will know the truth and that's good enough for me, shorter lines, and more ride time for me. One day maybe there will be a story of how safe amusement rides are and we;ll see how stupid the world is when they go back on their own beliefs.
------------- Everybody loves me, and I intend on keeping it that way. -Cruel Intentions
Figaro that is a good way to put it. It is a reflection of our society, and the general publics attitude. People seem more entertained by sex, destruction, death, and chaos then they do a wonderful thing like say an infants birth.
What's wrong with the people's attitude in this nation? People love to watch others suffer for some strange reason. I think it raises peoples self esteem. Makes them feel like they don't have it so bad. We are a dysfunctional nation, and its only getting worse.
Look at the Tobacco industry for an example. Government sues tobacco companies for cigarette related death. Duh. People who smoke know their chances for dying are greater than that of a non- smoker. There is a warning on every pack.
Amusement parks are sort of similar. They have a warning at the entrance to every coaster and thrill ride. People know the risk when they get in line. As Jeff put it you are more likely to win the lottery than be in an amusement park accident, but the media don't tell you things like that except for the Discovery Channel's rollercoaster shows.
What it comes down to is the almighty dollar. In the case with the cigarette companies the government is getting an unheard of settlement for something that is common sense. Cigarettes kill. I think it similar in the amusement industry that the government wants in on what the Discovery channel reported to be a 40 billion dollar a year industry. As if they aren't already getting enough money from them now.
Political figures seem to target things that their advisors think will win the election for them. I am surprised that they haven't tried to break up Six Flags because they are becoming the Microsoft of the amusement world. ;) They regulate every other industry to an extent. Why not target amusement parks. They know its lucrative and there is money to made. The media helps that by sensationalizing every accident at amusement parks today.
I am watching Blind Date, and they cut into it to show helicopters flying around Titan. "Coaster stuck on top of 255 ft lift hill. See this story coming up on News 8." Big deal. To the General population it is a big deal. Its that fear that resides in a person, and that is what makes them tune in to watch the news. To me its part of the excitement of the ride.
I do feel sorry for people that are involved in the accidents. My sympathy goes out to them and their families. I know I would be devastated to lose a member of my family to any accident.
Jeff that was an excellent editorial, and I also liked your posts in the news article on the accident on SROS at SF New England. Thanks for the great site, and keep up the good work.
I wish us coaster enthusiasts were more of a majority than a minority. Maybe we'd have more of a voice.
That quote got me into an argument on another site discussing sensationalism in the press in regards to anything. If you don't know, the quote is from a song call "Dirty Laundry" by Don Henley. Its about just this sort of thing. It will always hold true as long as there is tv, radio, newspaper, and now even internet ad space to sell. No one wants to hear the good news, just the bad. Its human nature.
The sad part is that the glory hounds we elect to go to Washington or your state capital or even your town hall will always try to capitalize on people's misfortune and blame the big guy (in this case, the amusement industry) for their so-called blatant disregard for consumer safety. People getting injured will always be a portal through which are all-knowing all-seeing politicians can show that they care through the passage of more laws which do no good because they are never enforced the way the should be (see most gun laws), or do nothing other than take away our freedoms. Its time we stopped looking to government for the answers, they are not there in most cases. This case is a perfect example. Its simply bad economics for there to be crashes on big time rides like this. People will stop coming if it happens all too often. For someone like me who only goes on rides at large amusement parks, that's all the protection I need.
Sorry that was so long (and somewhat off topic), but I think that we all are very passionate about the idea that we need to defend our rights here. Just be sure that you look at other things those yokals are doing in the Gov the same way you look at this issue.
I tend to agree with Figaro's statement that the media is generally serving what we're looking for. I have been a media professional my entire career, and I take issue with anyone who generalized that the media is an evil empire of some sorts (especially cry baby politicians who contend that they're being unfairly treated by the liberal/conservative media).
Most journalists want to report the right thing, and often they do. The problems come in that fuzzy area between the two sides of the building, where the sales/publishing people meet the programming/content people. I've seen it in all of my various jobs in radio, television and magazines. The sad truth is that these are businesses, and sometimes you have to whore yourself out to ensure that you get a paycheck.
Is that right? Nope. It's just a sad reality that sometimes you can't fight.
------------- Jeff Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com "From the global village... in the age of communication!"
I take no more or less offense with the fanatical reporting of amusement incidents than with anything else. While I'm not currently working in the industry, my passion lies with the aerospace field. And yes Jephry, the media is CONSTANTLY implying that airplanes arent safe, especially if there's been an incident.
When the flight 5050 crashed in Sioux City, there was a swarm of panic over aircraft safety. Nevermind that that was the most freakish of accidents where all three (primary and double redundant) hydralic systems were damaged (what were the odds of that). However, there will always be a sense that planes and coasters are dangerous (It has been shown that babies are born with an innate fear of falling).
And Jeff, I hope that your lambasting of the Associated press does not negatively affect your career plans. Cause I could smell the smoke from that bridge you burned. jeremy
------------- "Nobody writes about the planes that land." Steve Salerno Washington Times 7-10-01
there are many stories just as small as the rollercoaster on top of the hill that are reported every day across the nation.
In fact just today I was watching the national FOX news channel and they cut into their report for breaking news that a window washer was stuck while cleaning a skyscraper in Houston. This seems to me to be the same type of story as the rollercoaster getting stuck at the top of the hill.
I thought the story about the windowwasher was unimportant so I switched to CNN, where they also were reporting about the window washer. I then switched to MSNBC, and just as I switched to them they broke into a Chandra Levy story to report on the window washer story.
I'm sure that guy will not die. Whether we like it or not, the media will focus on dramatic "soft" stories like this so that they don't have to deal with the "hard" stories that might offend a large portion of the population.
I have no desire to work in print media as a content producer ever. Never have, never will. (Well, hard news anyway. I have been published in several national rags and a few big newspapers, but those were all op-ed or review pieces.) Besides, I will never be one of the mindless journalism degrees out there who will whore out for crappy pay covering city council meetings. After all, that's why I changed gears and became a programmer who tells media people what to do with their content, literally and figuratively. ;)
In other words, there was never a bridge in the first place.
------------- Jeff Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com "From the global village... in the age of communication!"
Today the media missed a big event. While at Soak City at Cedar Point, one of the tubes going up the ramp for the family raft got stuck!! A mechanic had to walk down on it and dislodge the boat!! Everyone was watching, hopeing no one was hurt... ------------- If you wanna dis me, then go knit a seater... or somethin' like that...
Relize they only bash roller coasters, because about a week ago, a bungee cord snapped at the Zero Gravity Thrill Park in Dallas, Texas. No one died, but were injured. The media didn't storm this one, the Dallas Morning News only had a brief article about it.
I sent it into the news, the full story is attached to it.
------------- Dude,Dude, Dude, Dude, Dude, Dude.....Dude. I've guess you've got a point there.
2Hostyl said: "When the flight 5050 crashed in Sioux City, there was a swarm of panic over aircraft safety. Nevermind that that was the most freakish of accidents where all three (primary and double redundant) hydralic systems were damaged (what were the odds of that?)"
Actually, what happened to Flt. 5050 was what is termed in safety engineering as a common mode failure. A common mode failure is a single failure, in this case a turbine wheel failure, that has the capability of disabling redundant systems. In the case of Flt. 5050, all of the hydraulics were routed close together near an engine making them vulnerable to all failing at once due to a turbine wheel failure.
The same thing can be true with coasters. The obvious example is electrical power. Lose electricity and everything goes down, so roller coasters have to be designed to fail safe in the event of power loss knocking out all controls and power.