Over the past few weeks, and even years, news and the media have become increasingly sensationalized and seemingly only concerned with the terrible events that occur every day. As a result, many people have become disillusioned with the idea of media, and stopped keeping up with current events. These people are faced with the urge to disconnect from the world and turn off all forms of publishing but doing so is dangerous and a terrible idea.
Like it or not, the news and media are how the general public stay informed, and during the era of fake news and internet hoaxes, staying informed should be a top priority. Much of what people find so off-putting about the news is the constant discussion of politicians and their actions. While what politicians say and what the government does may seem too horrible to bear, in reality, being aware of their actions is an important part of democracy.
If one is so disgusted with the media and the actions of government, it is probably a safe assumption that said person also does not want the media and government to continue acting in such a manner. But there is a way for this to change.The public is the greatest check on the power of the government, if one does not like what a public official is doing, they can vote them out of office. But, one cannot know whether or not they approve of said official’s actions if they do not know what those actions are. To let yourself go uninformed is to let the government go unchecked and to allow these institutions to continue their actions.
The easiest and most accessible way to stay informed is simply watching the news. But when yellow journalism and clickbait seems to have taken over, don’t substitute frustration with ignorance. This is not to say people should constantly pay attention to the news and let it consume their lives: It is to say people should stay informed not just give up. Instead, the public should urge their media to be better. Look for sources that don’t only report on the easy headline, or pander to politicians for information. Write to news stations and complain, ask them for better reporting. But if you don’t like something or you think it’s broken, don’t abandon it — fix it.