I come from a background where it is ones civic duty to be well informed and educated on the “issues” of the day. Growing up I would read the morning and afternoon newspaper as well as watch Walter Cronkite each evening on CBS. As I got older I tuned into PBS to watch The MacNeil/Lehrer Report and expanded my reading list to include various magazines like Time and NewsWeek. Today I read the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post and the LA Times. Because Marty still wants to watch broadcast news, we will occasionally turn on CBS but since the whole Brian Williams fiasco I am turned off to television news.
In a real time crisis I turn on CNN understanding completely that 75% of what is being presented is hysteria driven speculation. It takes time to gather enough information to accurately and succinctly report on stories of mass killings, weather tragedies and airplane disappearances but I feel the need to be connected if only through TV. Now that I can get the BBC on cable I will turn to them during an international crisis like the terrorist attacks in France because that broadcast feels less breathless and dramatic.
One might say I am a News junkie but I suggest I am a Political Science junkie. While I do analyze and critic the process of delivering the news, I am more about the structure of how society governs and regulates itself. I watched in horror and in real pain as the Sandy Hook Murders were reported and was dismayed to see the process for a call to action turn to there is nothing we can do. Have we really become a nation whose government has been bought by the upper 1%?
I imagine you are wondering by now if I am going off on some kind of Occupy Wall Street rant. Stick with me as I bring it back to you and me. We are bombarded with information on every single tragedy on the planet minute-by-minute. Heck if there isn’t a real time tragedy happening, one is created. Coupled with the images of death and mayhem are the words of “subject matter experts” who tell us the only solutions involves obscene amounts of money or decisive action from our government both of which, we don’t control.
I have come to a place where I don’t buy it. I don’t buy the rhetoric I am being fed. I am part of the world but my community does not encompass all that is shown on TV, the Internet or in the print media. I do have influence over the community in which I live and work if I want to exercise it. I can’t touch the lives of the entire world’s population but I can make a difference in my neighborhood or town. I believe that if we do care for and nurture our communities, then we do make the world a better place.
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