America Today: Entertained or Informed?

At one point, I thought I wanted to study journalism in college. I always had a thirst for knowledge and a burning desire to expose the truth on issues that affect us on a daily basis. I’m not talking about what Kim Kardashian is doing, I’m referring to actual hard news. However, I’ve come to realize that few  people  seem to really care about what’s going on in the world. They either don’t care to pay attention to it, or simply live in their own bubbles believing everything they hear. Even for those who are interested in global issues, what’s fact and what’s fiction? The impact of technology and social media has seemed to make the world smaller, but does it provide easier access to the truth? There seems to be more “BS” articles circulating now than ever before. E! News seems to have infiltrated the minds of most of us.  Why do we become addicted to reality shows starring talent-less people who over dramatize every little thing that happens in life? I think as a society, we choose to be entertained rather than informed. Is it because we’ve become desensitized by all the violence and negativity that is publicized on the news? It’s safe to say that journalism has regressed. Yes, there are now a multitude of ways to express your opinions, but when did opinion become fact? When did fabrication become the only means of gaining attention from people? A great example is a video that was released by Young America’s Foundation last week. The organization asked 30 students a series of questions on current events at George Washington University. Only a handful of those students knew about the 9/11 anniversary, and many of them didn’t have a clue what ISIS is. Yet, all of them knew of at least one celebrity who’s naked photos were leaked online. What is going on here?? This reminds of a conversation that my friend Chetika posted on Instagram the other day. An old co-worker had asked if Maldives was a good place to vacation. She responded by saying that her Dad didn’t recommend it now because of the ISIS situation over there. The co-worker responded with, “ISIS? Is that a Goo-Goo Dolls song?” This was coming from someone who lived in 13 different countries. It seems to me that all someone needs to read is a catchy headline, and it’s usually about a Hollywood star, political scandal, or a story that is written purely by opinion.  What is the truth? Do we even want the truth? Or would we rather be spoonfed nonsense by a select few while the world is changing and we’re sitting on our hands?

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