Essay / February 2017 / Walter Proulx

News For You

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For a country that prides itself as being a Democratic Republic, it is amazing how inefficient America is at giving valuable news to its citizens. Sure, censorship doesn’t official appear in the United States, but it is blatantly obvious that there are only a couple of things major news sources will report on. Terrorist attacks, celebrities, huge natural disasters, questionably moral business decisions, and insanely random breakthroughs in science with a side of local news is served to the typical viewer. Meanwhile no one knows about the recent breakthroughs in nuclear technologies or the status of the war against ISIL. There is a whole world of events that are happening all around the United States, yet for some reason the citizens are forced to ignore the chaos and progress that is being made around them.

It’s not easy to live in the US and find reliable news that gives noteworthy information. Although TV networks have been thought of as highly reliable, they are also steadily declining in the amount of information given to the viewer. With an average of more than fifteen-and-a-half minutes spent on watching commercials, the weather is also interjected constantly, taking up valuable time where viewers want to see…news. Yet still, over half the population in America gets its news from TV.

Over a third of the population gets its information from online sources such as social media and online newspapers and blogs. This doesn’t mean that these users are—oftentimes those social media outlets and blogs are terribly biased or unprofessional. Even the professional outlets are now leaning towards unprofessional content as the blogosphere takes over with clickbait and polarizing facts. The fountain of misinformation that can come from these sources is insane.

Less than half the country turns to radio and print newspapers, which also provide a closed view on world of events that are happening. Americans have few options as to where they get their news from, and even fewer reliable sources. Compared to other news stations around the world (which report on more topics with greater detail), the United States has a rather pitiful way of finding out the latest events. France has a news channel with uninterrupted broadcasting of events going on in the world. Within five minutes I saw it was clear that France may very well be reporting on more about the US than the US is reporting on itself. (I learned about new miniaturized apartments being built in New York City, a topic which I didn’t see come up anywhere else.)

It’s time for a change to happen so I don’t have to ransack the internet to find out what is happening in the world. No one has time to research these topics with such depth on their own. That’s what a news network should be doing, not the individual.

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Featured image: 123rf

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