Much of the Western world is watching a group of terrorists capture and slaughter dozens of people and then flaunt these actions globally.
By watching just about any television news source, viewers would think this group – the Islamic State – is bearing down on the border of the U.S. and going to attack American soil any day now.
By watching most television news sources, viewers might think that ISIL, a name the Islamic State goes by in Libya, is the top enemy of the U.S. and the major source of evil in the world.
By watching most television news sources, viewers might get the impression that going to war against ISIS, a name the Islamic State goes by in Syria, is the only option for America and the West.
The honest truth is: none of this is true.
But this can be solved by holding news organization accountable.
The actions of ISIS are certainly important to profile and track. They’re also definitely atrocious and evil. But forgetting that there are other problems, other atrocities and other evils in the world is not healthy.
Is this the fault of the public? Probably.
We’re entertainment consumers. We feed on the latest gossip – flip over to E! or TMZ for proof – and that’s ruining how we consume actual news.
And that affects how news is covered.
As Facebook likes, up-votes and pageviews become the de facto currency in media, legitimate news groups are moving to eye-grabbing, tabloid headlines and weaker stories, just to get the clicks they want.
Then when situations like what is going on in Syria, Libya and Egypt with the Islamic State or the Malaysian plane incident happen, they are overzealously covered on every screen we see.
Modern news seems to make the top story the only story. And that’s a dangerous thing because news can dramatically shape foreign policy.
Even though many people are informed citizens and many reporters, editors and producers run professional news organizations, it should not be the whims and interests of the people that influences what is covered.
After a while, “informing” the public quickly skips to speculation, and that’s not what reporting is about at all.
Providing a platform for a evil groups like ISIS is far from beneficial.
Coverage should be dictated by the newsworthiness and priority of each incident, not on how many times it can be repackaged and questioned in one news cycle.
Yet the media looks for emotionally sensitive stories, instead of providing informative facts.
It’s time that this stopped.
Ask more from your news outlets – the Lariat included. Demand the media cover hard hitting stories. Expect the media to show you the truth, not just what’s most popular.
Don’t settle for anything less.