I don’t like ranting online. Mainly because my words are stuck here forever, and if I say something stupid, it will most likely come back to haunt me. But here goes nothing.
I’m seeing a lot recently about news media and news outlets not “letting us know” about things that perhaps should be talked about more.
Example: this morning, I got on Twitter and saw where a police officer from my hometown reached a plea agreement in admitting to raping three women who were in his custody. Disgusting, horrible, etc. BUT the person who tweeted the story said, “Why am I just now hearing about this?!”
That’s a great question. Why are you just now hearing about it? I heard about it last year when the investigation started. I read articles about it, even on Twitter.
Don’t get me wrong, I think the media has a great responsibility and power to choose the stories that get covered in the news. It is crucial that journalists are precise and balanced in their coverage of topics. It does matter.
However, I’m in the school of thought that we each have a personal responsibility to seek out knowledge and information, even when it may not be convenient or “available.” Because let’s face it: in the Information Age we live in, we have so much stuff at our fingertips. Save for classified government documents (and even those sometimes get leaked), you can research pretty much anything and find it. Public records are available all across the internet. We can even diagnose ourselves with some life-altering disease on WebMD in minutes. (Okay, that last part was a joke. But we all know some of us do that).
People just don’t look for information partially because we are lazy and partially because it is so overwhelming to sift through all of that.
Hence, journalists. We come in, find the information and sift through it, find the holes and where things don’t line up, and attempt to reconcile all of that into one cohesive story. We are not perfect. We don’t always get it right. But we don’t sit around trying to cover up certain “types” of stories. It’s more so a matter of determining how often to cover stories/investigations and where they are placed in the newspaper (and online).
In short, I guess my point is this: don’t blame journalism/reporters/news media for your complacency in seeking out information.