Reading and Writing Our Way Forward
Since leaving school due to the pandemic, it seems that our society has become more torn apart than ever before. I often wonder if social progress will ever catch up to our technological advancements. We are no doubt a very advanced country, but sometimes our social tensions reveal how much we still have to work on. Just a couple of weeks ago, we were scared of this unprecedented virus called COVID-19, and now the news cycle is saturated with images of violence, fear, and chaos.
Like many others, the virus eventually affected those around me, and it became not that strange thing but something that intimately changed everything around me. With one major social issue still looming, now the next headline is "RACISM IN AMERICA." I'm not suggesting that these headlines are untrue, but I'm wondering what will be the longterm consequence of depressing headlines and anxiety-inducing news segments. I've been thinking a lot about the ethics of journalism in light of everything going on. I can't help but feel that the media as a whole has spiraled into endless negativity. Just as racism divides and breeds mistrust, the media asks viewers to pick a side and start arguing with the others. This lack of journalistic integrity is evident in the scarcity of news pieces regarding people coming together to clean up after the rioting. Instead, they rather focus on the fighting amongst the people and police- as it draws more attention. Rather than bringing people together, the media has incited a mob mentality and false perception over what is socially acceptable.
As a young person preparing for my freshman year of college, I'm trying very hard to find the silver lining amongst all this chaos. How are we to come together to find solutions if we fear one another? Is it through the burning and looting of stores and homes to display one's resentment towards a corrupt system? Is it through the use of unnecessary force against unarmed people? The continued suffering of those who fear violence from the police? I honestly don't know what it will take to reach a peaceful outcome, but I know that whatever is going on now will not get us there. It’s time for the media to take responsibility for instigating violence and sensationalizing stories during a time that’s already hard enough for most people. We need different stories. We need to hear about the good that’s happening. Show more of the good stuff.