Saturday, August 24, 2013

Can we have conversations about real life through mass communications?

Recently reading the news on a website for a local radio station - the headlines were: woman dies in car crash. Man charged with abusing 13 week old baby.  VT Sugaring facilities smashed and robbed.

While these are current events, I think there are a lot of other current events happening also (including positive things).  It seems like a lot of our news is entertainment based.  I noticed this as I found myself scrolling down the page in search for the next shocking headline.  I wanted to be entertained and excited.  That feeling then made me want to read this webpage tomorrow to be shocked again. 

Then it hit me - this is why I don't watch much TV or read many traditional news outlets.  Our media channels are often based around a traditional profit model in which the company makes money if viewers come back and bring their friends.  And we know viewers/readers will come back if they are shocked/excited. 

So here's the bummer - in some of our public spaces, especially media driven spaces (like TV and newspapers) we aren't having conversations.  We're trying to entertain and excite each other.  So the broader social issues from immigration to gender identity are not being discussed in these channels in an honest, serious way.  Yet, those are the things that create the fabric and future of our shared nation and culture.

I wonder if there are mass communications that would enable us to have conversations about important things.

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