And this just in!….
I knew when I started this blog I wanted to stay away from “trending topics” because unlike Barry Allen, I don’t react fast enough to post while a trending hot topic is in the eye of a public storm. When I hear or read about a tragedy that has taken place, it takes me a while to sound out the noise created by an unfortunate event that has captured the imagination of the mass media.
When the horrific Orlando shootings took place, there was no news station or social media feed that didn’t cover the topic, it was everywhere you turned, and rightly so, given the fact that 49 people where murdered and 53 injured based on a group of human beings who choose to socialise, dance and love other human beings.
How insane is it that less than 24 hours after one of the worst mass shootings in U.S history our poor servicing mass media gave the perpetrator of this crime more recognition and coverage than any of the victims. Why after such an awful tragedy should I see images of selfies taken by a mentally ill criminal?
Less than two months later, the news cyclone has already moved on from this tragedy and is ready to consume and ravage another story that will capture the preoccupied, attention spans of it’s audience.
It is fair to say that American race relations once again dominate global headlines to see which hashtag carries the most validity, whether it be #BlackLivesMatter vs #AllLivesMatter vs #BlueLivesMatter. People (understandably?) blinded by continuing cycles of negative behaviour that never seem to break; making it difficult to see the common thread that unites the intentions behind all the hashtags.
To make these horrific acts more digestible for an audience, mass media attempts to categorise multi faceted human beings into convenient bite sized definitions based on racial, political or religious characteristics but the reality I actually live tells me otherwise…
Do you really think other police officers aren’t outraged when they witness colleagues providing such a poor provision of service for the very people they are sworn to protect and serve? Foul officers of law enforcement that not only degrade the service but make an already dangerous external environment even more hostile for the officers that are doing a good job.
Do you really think that black US citizens aren’t disgusted by anyone who thinks they are entitled to kill someone purely based on wearing a uniform? Do you think that humanity is so small minded that we can only feel empathy for “breaking news” stories if they continually promote the same destructive narrative?
Ever wondered why with an estimated 7 billion of us on this planet, why do all the major news outlets generally swim in the same shallow pool of stories? After the initial sugar rush of tragedy where are the follow up stories? Where is the news coverage of heroic individuals and/or communities who have used disastrous events to provide healing or find a way forward in their personal lives?
What if the news gave the same urgency of coverage to Singapore based company Nevhouse who build and provide high quality, low cost housing from recycled plastic helping to solve both a humanitarian and environmental cause! The truth is…I might just switch off, which is exactly what news channels don’t want me to do.
I know its not all bad, because the news still gives us sports, weather and news on celebrity premiers, parties and tweets. I’m not suggesting that the news shouldn’t report on high octane events, but all I humbly ask is that you objectively watch the news and see if it is a true representation of your actual daily life.
Traditional methods of the news cannot hope to compete against the accelerated pulse of the online, digital news feed or the passions of the hashtag warrior. In the large majority of cases, the news is not designed to inspire, uplift, contemplate or reflect, it is designed to survive and get your attention to boost it’s viewership.
Until next time.