TURN OFF THE NEWS…….
Morgan Freeman’s brilliant take on what happened yesterday :
“You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here’s why.
It’s because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you know the name of a single *victim* of Columbine? Disturbed
people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he’ll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.
CNN’s article says that if the body count “holds up”, this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the killer’s face on all their reports for hours. Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer’s identity? None that I’ve seen yet. Because they don’t sell. So congratulations, sensationalist media, you’ve just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.
You can help by forgetting you ever read this man’s name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem. You can help by turning off the news.”
Just because we can take millions of digital photographs, we don’t necessarily become better photographers. We can use a word processor, but it doesn’t necessarily make us better writers. We have the power of unprecedented communication at
our fingertips, but that doesn’t necessarily make us better communicators. If we really want to influence the future of our species, we have to undertake the hard work of learning. We need to challenge ourselves to become better photographers, better, writers, and above all, much, much better communicators. I agree with Morgan Freeman. The news media, at this point in our history, are contributing to shaping our cultural zeitgeist, and they have no conscience in the role they play in doing that. It is up to us, as citizens and educators, to lead the way. We must educate ourselves to be highly sophisticated users of ICT, to understand it is much more a part of our lives than simply a ‘tool’ to deliver curriculum. It is part of our human existence, and we have a responsibility to ensure each succeeding generation is capable of participating in shaping the future of human society.