Jess Waldman

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My perception of Mainstream Media as a Teenager

 

Before the pandemic, I was just kind of a "go-with-the-flow" type of person. I didn't pay attention to the societal corruption I surrounded myself with. I scrolled through mainstream media and skimmed over different headlines throughout the day, and honestly, I never cared enough to learn more or educate myself on the topics I was reading. I always thought, 

"How does this affect me?"

 

For example, reading about a drop in the Dow Jones had no real effect on me or mostly anyone I spent my day-to-day with. Soon quarantine hit, and I had a lot more time to educate myself on different topics and open my eyes to what is going on around me. I soon realized mainstream media is severely over-politicized. Everything just started to sound like a lot of, 'he said, and she said,' and every network began to spew hate speech onto their audience. This then resulted in large divisions between political parties as well as individuals due to their beliefs. Is this real investigative journalism? 

When it came to politics, I realized only a small percentage of the men and women running for a seat in the office cared about the people. Everyone just told their audience what they needed to hear so they can gain a position. I believe most politicians are corrupt individuals who only fight to protect their interests. 

Networks such as CNN and FOX just began nitpicking every little unnecessary thing someone did. They rarely talked about topics that mattered, such as the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. Did you know that Yemen is having one of the most significant humanitarian crises of all time at the time of myself writing this piece? Over 80 million people are on the brink of death due to a Civil War, lack of food and water, and also a global pandemic, and no one knows. In China, there is a cultural genocide against the Uighurs, an ethnic Muslim minority within Xianxing China. Women are forcefully being sterilized. Men, women, and children are forced into "re-education camps," where they are beaten and put to work, not "re-educated." All of this, which China denies. And as of July 16, 2020, Palestine has been erased from google maps in the U.S., and the United States no longer recognizes Palestine as a territory. After over 50 years Palestine has lost; after years of death, war, and destruction, the U.S. has let Israel win; years of culture, traditions, and memories are now erased, and the entire country, the Palestinian nationality (to an American), gone with the press of an actual button. An actual button on some computer tucked away in the back of an office building in a gentrified city. Why doesn't mainstream media cover these topics? Yes, other news networks that cover world news will have hopefully mentioned the humanitarian crisis listed above, but do U.S. citizens even watch global news; if they do, what percentage will listen? Or no, because it doesn't affect the average good ole' American Joe? 

Mainstream media neglects to cover these topics, which in result, strengthens the blind nationalism that runs rampant within the country, allowing for more corruption. The humanitarian crisis in Yemen and the genocide in China doesn't affect U.S. citizens because it's not happening in the states, even though many Americans have the means to bring light and help what's going on in the world. Yet this blind nationalism is also prevalent within the country. But yet again, mainstream media doesn't cover controversial topics because it'll hurt the campaigns of running "politicians." Hundred of indigenous women are going missing. There are controversial actions taken place by ICE at the Southern border, apparent police brutality, and broken systems that were "supposedly" built to protect, and no one is doing anything. The activists and the ones who are actually fighting and speaking up are silenced. Is it because many of the men and women running the country are most likely involved in an alleged child sex-ring? Or is it because if the media covers these topics, the wall (blind nationalism) between the average citizen and the people making decisions for the country will collapse, revealing corruption that's already beginning to spill out? Or a societal revolution?

Do individuals know these problems exist and refuse to acknowledge them, thus allowing them to continue to live in their bubble filled with ignorant bliss, or do they really have no idea what's going on outside their cookie-cutter suburban neighborhood? Or perhaps the over-worked and stretched-thin middle class are just too tired to pay attention, saving their energy for only the politics of our nation, as it has a perceived direct correlation to their hard-earned income and taxes. 

Now, why is it a 17-year-old girl is more involved and understanding of global issues? Why is a 17-year-old girl spending her Summer writing for Arlene Begelman and not writing her college essay? Is it because I get information directly from the source through social media, which hasn't been filtered through the mainstream media? Or what?

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