I am a major journalism nerd; that is no news to anyone. But with the increasing stigma around the news media, I have come to notice a rising disdain among my peers for the field I have such high regards for… and I don’t blame them. Today’s world is plagued with the repetitiveness of the 24-hour news cycle and the over usage of the term “fake-news.” The field that was intended to simply provide information for people to process on their own terms, has morphed into a polarized world of biased networks clinging to ratings.
But there are issues on both fronts. Sure, news networks should target fixing the field that has slowly turned into a sort of battlefront, but is our responsibility to stay informed, to stay educated. I have heard variations of the phrase “News stresses me out, so I just don’t watch it,” too many times. I understand this stance, as I am tempted to shut off my phone or TV and walk around in oblivion at times, but then I am reminded of a series of words that has grown fond to my heart: “Democracy Dies in Darkness.” A slogan from the Washington Post, it says it all. With limitations on journalists, information is suppressed… but what good is that information if no one is paying attention?
The people ultimately give the press the power it is known for, as they are the viewers. But if this power, the power of the press, goes down, so will the power of the people. Don’t let the “bad news” of local stations get to you. No one is asking you to sit in front of the local news for hours on end, but it is still important to understand what is going on in the world, whether it be political (today’s fan favorite), environmental, economic or even sports related.
Sign up for theSkimm or turn on the notifications for your News app. Upstanding organizations are out there, and they make staying educated as easy as scrolling through your Instagram feed (see Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and The New York Times).
Ignorance is bliss, but education is power. So, which will you choose?