By MELISSA MALLIN
Growing up, my parents always watched the news. In the morning, on the way to school, before/after/sometimes during dinner, and right before bed; it was always on.
If my parents weren’t directly sitting down watching the news, it played as background noise. As a teenager, I often awoke to the deep voice of the local news anchor reporting last night’s drama. I remember thinking, “I don’t know how my parents can watch so much news, it’s such a negative and depressing way to start and end ones day.” But, for as long as my parents watched the news, I never really questioned what was being reported.
That was, until I got to college. As I got older, I started paying more and more attention to the news before concluding that most, if not all of it, was full of crap. It always seemed as though reporters weren’t telling the whole story or at least leaving out important details as to obscure the truth.
Something always seemed to be missing, you know, the part of the story that actually made sense. As I continued to grow, I began questioning the information my own country’s media was telling me. The media seems to portray America as a target and victim and in order to prevent the invasion of evil from other countries, we must go to them first and fix their wrongdoings. In the international realm, It appears as though, America has this drastically different conceited view of itself, then that of the rest of the world.
If you’ve ever been to a different country, then you probably know that citizens in most countries strongly dislike and even hate the United States for what it has become. Many people from other countries view Americans as having a materialistic, self-absorbed, ignorant culture that consumes too much, saves too little and bullies the rest of the world. In their eyes, Americans are promiscuous, lethargic, wasteful and arrogant. They believe that Americans think they know everything, believe the rest of the world should be like them and are exceedingly uninformed about politics.
In contrast, Americans view themselves as self-righteous, confident, and moral individuals that carry a sense of nationalism, individualism and religiosity. Americans believe it their duty to overly consume so the economy remains stable. As individuals, Americans tend to be egotistical, conceited, and self-reliant. We, as Americans, believe what we look like, how we dress, and what other people think of us, are much more important than the atrocities of American and/or international politics.
For instance, take a look at these American and international versions of Time magazine covers. The American version tends to the values of American lifestyles whereas the international covers focus on important issues worldwide. Topics from the American version include “The child free life,” “The science of favoritism,” “What makes school great,” “Chore Wars,” and others such as anxiety, Jay Leno, pain, and football. The same issue’s international version of the covers involved “Germany saving the Euro to save itself,””Why Germany can’t save itself,” “Pakistan’s Despair,” “Travels through Islam,” and other topics including revolution redux, the global economy one year later, last stand, and Haiti, the aftermath, respectively. As you can see, the American issues of Time magazine are drastically dumbed down and directed towards everyday life versus keeping us informed about the global issues at hand. In fact, stories featured in the international version are often never included or even mentioned in the American one.
Just compare American news sites to International ones. If you visit Fox News, the main page is filled with stories including Mark Zuckerberg’s stance on immigration, Iran’s nuclear program deal, the longest married couple in the United States, and a postal worker who was shot and killed. Compare these headlines with those featured on an international news site like RT (Russian News) and you’ll see a huge difference. RT includes a multitude of stories involving the Iran nuclear program, and headlines include “Snowden leak reveals NSA’s goal to expand surveillance,” “Crack smoking Toronto mayor more popular than Obama,” and “IRS leaves tax payers at risk for fraud”. The website contains both Russian, international, and American news and includes many stories not found on American news sites. If they are featured on an American news site, the American story is written in a way as to obscure or leave out certain facts that the international site puts forth so bluntly. In my opinion, the international site is more informational and truthful than our own American news. I’ve found more information keeping up with the international stories than I have by keeping up with my own mainstream media.
I’ve recognized this as a pattern in American journalism. Mainstream American news tends to cover less important topics than they obviously should. Our news has drifted away from global and domestic importance and evolved into another form of entertainment. The American media keeps citizens more informed about Kim Kardashian’s pregnancy and Miley Cyrus’s destructive behavior, than on investigative reports about the real issues going on in the middle east and abroad. More importantly, they ignore what’s right in front of us-our country’s own domestic self-destructive behavior.
Our society has fallen ill from its own stupidity. If we continue on this path, we will be left only with what our American media tells us. American news has evolved into yet another form of entertainment in which stories have been dumbed down to attract viewers. The American media obscures the truth, leaves out important details, and often only tells one side of the story if they include the story at all. It is my strongest recommendation that Americans start outsourcing to international media sites in order to grasp and comprehend the whole story. International media doesn’t hide or dumb down global issues in order to entertain and increase their number of readers. They report the story as it is, with collectible facts and truth, and in its full entirety. International media includes details, left out by our own media, and reports the way American media should be reported.
If we continue believing everything the American media tells us, we will lose our capability to think for ourselves and will one day be limited to receiving news the same way North Korean’s receive theirs. We will be told only what our government wants to tell us, and will be forced to live in a false reality, completely oblivious to the outside world.
It is in our greatest self-interest to prevent this from happening.