Media is important. It may sometimes be biased but it is not fake, and it is a beacon that throws light onto the corrupt political systems. It shines a light on the frustrations and misfortunes of our society. But it often overlooks our blessings, our aspirations, and our strengths. In the present time, when the news stations have become twenty-four-hour loudspeakers of doom and gloom, their adverse effects on our lives are evident. These loudspeakers in our living rooms often induce frustrations, hopelessness, stress and even depression.
A friend of mine said that you just have to turn the television off and all is quiet. I guess that’s true, but it seems that media is as addictive to many people as nicotine, caffeine and Facebook, and to turn the switch off is not so easy, particularly when our anxieties are at a peak because of lock-downs, racial discrimination and social injustice.
Even during times when life has fewer waves, media hinders our inward focus and draws us out to look at the problems in the country and around the world. Do we need to know about these problems? Sure. Do we need to be reminded about them every hour? No.
So, what is the solution? What if we combine MSNBC or CNN with the History Channel, the Science Channel, and Animal World? You might laugh at me but think about it for a moment. We need to know about life and our place on this planet as a human species as much as we need to know about our political system. Maybe more so, as life and history have many more lessons to offer than politics, at least now-a-days.
I would like to see media shifting its focus from all-politics to all-society, because politics is just one step to shape society for the good of the people but is not the only game available in our lives. Instead of spurts of news about education and a few disparate discussions, why not have an ongoing dialogue to raise its standards? Instead of just talking about poverty and racial discrimination, how about a panel that constantly investigates their implications, effects and solutions? We have seen American Idol for many seasons, how about one season of this panel? (Nothing against American idol though. I guess It can be telecasted in-between the discussion about education and panel investigating poverty). But I am naïve to think that this would ever happen because all the channels are under the spell of ratings and profit. I guess it can happen only in an environment in which a government channel operates as an underpinning for a welfare state. A channel that is not worried about ratings but quality and dialogue among people who are bringing different perspectives to the table. A diversity in views.