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Turning Fear into Fascination

Fear is defined as the emotional state consisting of psychological and psychophysiological responses to a real external threat or danger. Although fear is somewhat of an uncontrollably response, the perception of what one should or should not fear is moldable. With the new age of mass and social media, information is much more accessible to the public than in previous years, but with this there comes an increased responsibility of the viewer to fact check what they are seeing. Within photojournalism media, a major theme overriding the specific issues presented is fear. (Altheide & Snow, 1991). Media has a circular relationship with its viewers regarding fear. For example, media projections of fear in the social environment will encourage viewers to stay indoors, where they may watch more TV, be online more, or on social media more and in turn are exposed to more media which reinforces the fear that made them stay indoors in the first place. (Altheide, 1997). Sharks have been represented as sources of fear within mass media for years. From dramatized news stories and TV programs, to movies, sharks are twisted by media into man-eating monsters, which is far from the truth.

If you ever have the opportunity to swim with sharks, you should. One of the most rewarding things a shark conservationist can experience is when someone terrified of sharks before hopping in the water comes out with an appreciation, love, and respect for sharks. The goal of any shark conservationist is to turn fear into fascination. The more people that fall in love with sharks, the more people that will fight for their research and protection.

Post By: Taylor Cunningham

Photo By: Ocean Ramsey

Taylor Cunningham