Do you remember the invasion of Ukraine? How about the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines’ Flight 370? Both events occurred a few months ago and aren’t being covered by any major news networks anymore. However, neither of these issues is even close to being resolved.
Most news networks fall into one of two categories: they either advocate beliefs and ideas of a certain political party, or they delve far too deep into unimportant details. Let’s focus on the second type because they at least try to inform the public of current events. Take CNN, for example. For the past week, the network has been covering solely the situations in Iraq and Ferguson. It invites contentious experts to discuss often irrelevant details, in a manner as churlish as the protesters themselves. Thus, the discussions reach no substantial conclusion, yet they are repeated multiple times.
But why should we care at all? The answer lies in the purpose of journalism, which is to empower the audience to make more educated decisions about their own lives, communities, and the world around them. Within the time span that networks have, they should allocate at least a fraction on covering unsolved issues of the past, because problems aren’t ephemeral, and neither are their solutions. In fact, issues of the past – the nation’s debt, gun laws, the invasion of Ukraine – will always come back swinging. It’s about time we asked ourselves, was news created to instigate actions towards problems concerning the world, or to watch the world burn?