I am a major journalism nerd; that is not 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 provide information for people to process on their own terms has morphed into a polarized world of biased networks that are driven by ratings.
But there are issues on both fronts. Sure, news networks should focus on fixing the field that has slowly turned into a sort of battlefront, but is our responsibility to stay informed and educated. I have heard variations of “News stresses me out, so I just don’t watch it,” too many times.
I understand this, truly. I, too, 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 consumers. But if the power of the press is lost, 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 TV 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, there’s always something to immerse yourself in.
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?