Give us the news we want

The public relies on news to be informative and reliable in reporting current events.

Recently, the war started by Mother Nature in her assault against Florida and the Caribbean islands during Hurricane Irma captured audience’s opinion on relief efforts while distracting from the actual war the United States is in.

In the time that Hurricane Irma hit, CNN and other notable news organizations reported more on the hurricane than what was going on in countries the United States has rising tensions with.

“The trivial nature of the news media testifies to the fact that we want, at all costs, to ignore the real and most pressing issues that affect our world on a daily basis,” said Asher Sircy, a student at the College of Charleston.

 

Distracting from political issues

 

The media are giving their audience a distraction.

Reports on Hurricane Irma easily unified the nation as opposed to reporting on current political issues regarding conflicts internationally and domestically.

Why are reporters distracting their audience with news stories that don’t give any real insight that cause their audience to critically think for themselves?

Reporters are feeding their programs with light stories because the nation is already tearing itself apart from the past presidential campaign and Black Lives Matter protests.

Light stories unite the nation against a common enemy, like Hurricane Irma, to refocus attention and shield the news organization from political criticism that would harm their reputation.

Instead, focusing on an issue that has direct and immediate consequences on the nation targets the hurricane as top priority while other rising issues are pushed aside.

Hurricane Irma was catastrophic, but the coverage of the storm was over sensationalized in the media.

Even though Hurricane Irma has passed, the next issue to takes its place are the NFL protests during the national anthem.

These smaller issues are insignificant to conducting and facilitating discussion around international relations that is a higher priority.

Real Clear Politics is one site that features numerous articles regarding tax reform debate and the Trump Administration.

 

Cliché reporting

Though Hurricane Irma did impact Florida and cost a lot of people their homes and businesses, it does not need to be a sensationalized headline every day.

Even though the government feeds into what is to be reported, it’s important that journalists act independently.

But sending independent reporters into harsh conditions is not the same.

The news did their job in broadcasting reporters in dangerous weather conditions while steadying themselves through viscous winds.

Yet this broadcasting technique is old and cliche as seen on Fox News.

The tradition of television crews standing in the middle of a dangerous storm goes back decades, reflecting the hunger to be on the scene for a nationally significant event,” as stated by Sopan Deb in the New York Times.

Though visuals are important in reporting, this is an appeal to curiosity and attention seeking.

 

Attention on social media

With the advancement of social media, Snapchat has become a tool for users to see live coverage of current events on their phones.

Snapchat users can easily view what their friends do and then scroll up to news coverage.

As news organizations take over snap, they rarely fill it with international stories besides music festivals in Brussels.

The stories that make Snapchat are the ones that receive the most attention over pop culture.

“I think the idea that Snapchat users – like the younger generation – aren’t interested in news is not correct,” Matt Dornic from CNN told AJR.

He’s right. The younger generation is interested in news, so give it to them.

 

by Caitlin Funtanilla

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