by Kenneth Justice
~ I swear, this summer seems like the summer of craziness.
Is it just me or does it seem like the NEWS stories we read every morning have been coming at us with even more voracity lately?
This Summer it seems like every morning the news wire is filled with some really big stories from all across the world….
And with every one of these major stories….I wonder what the impact on each of our lives has been from the coverage?
–) George Zimmerman trial
–) Egyptian Revolt
–) Greece in major economic turmoil
–) Jodi Arias trial
–) Civil War in Syria
–) Detroit declares bankruptcy
–) One of the biggest heatwaves in Great Britain’s recent history
–) Amanda Berry and other women saved from a basement in Ohio after a decade of captivity
The list is literally endless…….and there are so many things going on in Korea, Australia, India, China and the rest of the world that I couldn’t even begin to mention every one of them……
I’m a self-admitted news junkie. I worked in politics for three years during my late teen years, and ever since; following the local and world news is as much apart of my daily routine as brushing my teeth……actually, I bet I forget to brush my teeth more times than I forget to read the news!
And that’s why I asked myself the question this morning, how are we being influenced by the NEWS?
Let’s face it; the people living in Greece and Detroit are being directly affected by the economic situation they are living in…..
But someone living in Iowa or Australia aren’t necessarily reeling in economic pain from the decisions of politicians in Greece or Detroit….
But, we are influenced or affected in some way by the News coverage we follow……
Hundreds of years ago…before the Internet, before the telegraph, before the printing press…….men and women were limited in the scope of the NEWS they followed.
Perhaps you’d leave your farm and travel to the town meeting or religious services and there you would be given word-of-mouth updates on what was happening at the Capital City or the local province.
Travelers were a main source of news in the ancient world.
If you were on a sojourn through the world you would likely be given free room and board for the simple cost of sharing stories about the cities and governments you had passed through on your journey.
This rather cool phenomenon of a small town or family taking in strange travelers and sharing meals together was entirely centered around the sharing of NEWS.
Along came the printing press, the telegraph, newspapers, and eventually the Internet……and that face-t0-face social experience that thousands of generations of humans enjoyed slowly died away.
You see, there is a positive and negative about the way things ‘used to be’;
–) by only getting far-away NEWS from travelers….it allowed ancient peoples to be more focused on what was directly in front of them. It freed them from distractions that they couldn’t do anything about…….
–) The negative of course is that when there was major suffering or catastrophes in far-away lands…..you were getting the NEWS so late that it was unlikely that you would be able to help your fellow humans.
And all of that brings us to our day-and-age……
Our era is filled with 24 hour news media….
Wall-to-wall coverage of NEWS events that are not very often connected to our daily lives……
So how are we being affected by all this NEWS?
Let’s face it; we have the ability to know about the major catastrophes and crises that are occurring around the globe….but very few of us do anything about them….and more specifically; very few of us have the ability to do anything.
What can you or I do for the people in Syria where a civil war is raging?
The death toll in Syria is out-of-control!
So what good is it for me to read about it every morning (which I do quite religiously)?
How are we being influenced by the NEWS?
To be perfectly honest. I don’t have an agenda behind my question. I don’t know what the answer is to all the NEWS we follow.
–) I can’t throw a stone at the people who say, “I just don’t want to follow any NEWS because it is negative”
–) And I can’t throw a stone at the people who enjoy following the NEWS like myself.
But I can ask the question…..How are we being influenced by the NEWS?
Isn’t that a question I should ask?
Shouldn’t we be concerned with the influencing forces behind the media……shouldn’t we question whether or not we are being influenced for the positive or the negative?
Personally…..I wish we could start-up the ancient practice of inviting travelers over for a room and meal and an evening of swapping stories……
So if you’re ever anywhere near my territory…..stop by and you’ll get a comfortable bed and a delicious meal……
And of course a really good cup of coffee, which reminds me……
Categories: Culture & Society