Amid Obamacare and the Syrian crisis, who decides what we should care about?
CNN, MSNBC and FOX News: the ‘big three’ of United States cable news. With the help of local print journalism and the news powerhouse that is Twitter, these sources deliver the latest trends and topics straight to our living rooms and front doors on a daily basis.
With an endless amount of content and up to the minute updates, information can seem plentiful and more than sufficient, even overwhelming at times. It is a due and valued service to keep the public informed and up-to-date on the current state of United States affairs, but are we getting the best quality content? Or are we, the American people, being misled by the media on current issues, or even driven to follow whatever we see or read and not ask questions?
It isn’t hard to see the media controls what people talk about and not vice versa. However, it seems as if the major news networks have no sense of closure on issues and assume their audience will simply follow whatever stories are presented to them without stopping to even question the last.
The second half of 2013 has seen some major stories involving the U.S., many of which could have their own news channel devoted to, but the coverage of these important stories pass with the day. As soon as there is a fresh topic, news networks and their audiences seem to forget about what they were just talking about.
Think about the Syrian conflict and how it erupted on news networks and the internet for about a week. The President was addressing the nation, the United States was on the verge of war, and the world was watching in awe. However, I can’t remember seeing anything about what happened after that. The story seemed to just stop in time as news of the government shutdown broke. People immediately forgot where Syria was on a map and were more concerned with whether or not their families were getting paid the next week. Mass media followed suit, only running stories on the shutdown and throwing the blame on everyone. A great news story, but were we not just about to go to war?
Excuse me for being concerned for the well-being of our military and people. But just as quickly as the shutdown burst onto the scene, it faded. Congress literally waited until the last moment to resolve one of the worst internal issues the U.S. has seen in decades, and two days later nobody bats an eye. It is appalling to me how that many people, including the very news sources we trust for information, didn’t care about what just happened and instead are content finding out what Obamacare is really all about.
I believe there is an extreme disconnect between the mass media in the United States, the American people and what is really going on in the world. It is mind-blowing that news audiences are okay with this selective reporting and, much less, are so disconnected from current events regarding the very country they live in. I, for one, am not. n