Media Diatribe

There are plenty of social subjects in this world to diatribe about, but a particular one that has caught my attention recently is inconsistency in the media. I realize that there is a lot of back-and-forth material about “fake news” and all of that rich controversy, but that isn’t exactly what I’m referring to. I’m talking more about what the media reports and how much it does so. For example, just a few weeks ago when hurricane Harvey assaulted Texas and was immediately followed by hurricane Irma in Florida, that was all we heard about from the media. I am certainly not trying to downplay the horrible effects of these natural disasters by any means. They were devastating and terrifying for many. However, at the same time these storms occurred, Montana, Oregon, and California were plagued by massive, uncontained wildfires. Nobody said a word. To the best of my knowledge, there were no major national news stories about them, no government officials issued PSAs on them, nobody talked about what was going on in the West. All the media sources could seem to focus on was the hurricanes. Of course it is important that they covered the hurricanes and the flooding; the storms were terrible national events. And, in any case, people have a right to know about what is going on in the country and what is happening to their fellow citizens. But these wildfires had severe, deleterious effects as well. Thousands of people were evacuated, just like in Texas and Florida. Many families lost their homes or had to deal with extensive damages, just like those in Texas and Florida. And with a raging wildfire that is only 10% contained under high winds, the people were powerless to stop it, just like in Texas and Florida. Who decides which stories get published and which stories get swept under the rug? Are the states of Texas and Florida more important than Montana or California?

In its honest form, media and reporting serve a critical purpose in society. As I said before, the nation has a right to know what is going on. If we are to be united, we have to suffer together just as we dwell in positive times together. But we can’t very well do that if part of the nation can burn without the media batting a single eyelash.

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