I wonder often about the news media and what they think they’re doing. Today I consider ways they can make the world a better place in the middle of all the madness (spinning off from my theory of doing the next right thing).
Weeks ago, for the first time in too long a law enforcement representative refused to glorify a criminal by speaking his name in the news report. Scant weeks later another law enforcement officer took the same stand. It’s a trend I hope flies high and wide.
I like to believe today’s journalists across the board want to report what’s happening in the world, report events accurately, as they happen as much as they ever have. Conspiracy theories aside, I sincerely pray for the reporters/anchors/bloggers I follow. Theirs can easily become a hazardous occupation. I don’t imagine anybody assigning blame for getting caught up in the ratings, Facebook likes, and blog stats, but let’s consider how those figures weigh in against our need for actual facts as compared to opinion.
I notice often that stories often don’t make the newscasts until months after the fact. That said, I also understand the information highway and especially social media complicate most everything, so that law enforcement is also more challenged to do the job effectively, successfully more than ever before. People randomly circulate rumors, many propagating attitude over actual facts. Less dogmatic individuals read them and adopt their opinions based on that limited tidbit of information. Such can hinder, hamper or otherwise block the actual facts, contributing more to the problems rather than cures.
Today for example, one of the first stories broadcast on this morning’s local news report is about a mid-20’s to mid-30’s aged man jogging in Eastern Dallas who fell to a random act of violence on Sunday (two days ago) and will not return home to his family. In the heartbreaking news coverage the perpetrators‘ neighbor’s comments comforted me too in the midst of the tragic story.
I firmly believe the news media would be far better served if they stopped self-inflating their ratings by making a bigger deal about victims of random acts of violence, rather than fluffing their stories with expansive details about the perpetrators; those that regardless of their motivation, choose to mark the world with bloodshed. The only actual facts I learned about the case in mention are all about the murderer – not much about the victim, his family and his community.
That messed up trend has become too common, especially in the news. Granted, we need to be aware of the violence and dangers all around us, but for people’s sake, we also need random acts of kindness going on as well.