Opinion: Media distraction in the news

Marvin Logan is a senior Pan-African studies major and columnist for The Kent Stater. Contact him at mlogan6@kent.edu.

Marvin Logan is a senior Pan-African studies major and columnist for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]

Marvin Logan

One thing that interests me is how much control the media have today. After the deregulation of media in the 1990s, news and TV have a much different look. News stations no longer have to maintain a responsibility to the viewer on the news it portrays or how it betters the community. Now, you often see news crazes over hot topics that monopolize the conversations people have in their homes.

For example, take the current media craze on Ebola in the US. Although nearly every article is on speculation and isn’t affecting the masses like so many other things, Ebola is much of what you will see if you check in on a news channel today. You are more likely to die from gun violence, police brutality or food poisoning than you are from Ebola. However, these aren’t things that you see on your television screens. Media can play a very strong role in society. In many countries with fewer freedoms, one of the first systems of control used for propaganda are the media.

We see so much from media. Whether it’s what famous person is having a baby to what other outlandish thing can cause a stir—much of mainstream media is occupying our minds with detractors, instead of helping to enable our humanity. This is why, as responsible students of education and of life, we must keep the light on in terms of informing and advancing people. Many things happen that affect the daily lives of human beings; there are some things we would never know if we had ever had to experienced them. The mainstream media hinder our ability to stay connected.

What can continue to help is the evolution of social media. Social media gives users a chance to share their experiences. Social media’s new facilitation is the future of relevant news. Take the time to surf the net and look at how other people are taking the tools social media gives them to the streets in educating and spreading knowledge. Try to use your literacy skills to read through the bias and gain perspective from what other people share. Don’t just fall for the hype of what’s hot right now. It can really help to expand our horizons if we continue to look at news as a way to elevate instead of distract. So tonight, as you’re sitting on the couch flipping through channels, just keep in mind what you’re watching and who wants you to watch. Always think for yourself, and find your own answers.