Why Media Bashing Isn’t Helpful

With so much going on in the world today, news sources are constantly working to get important breaking news out to the public almost as soon as it happens. And I have to commend them, because in an age where social media allows for posts to happen instantaneously, people have seemed to lose their sense of patience and demand news to be reported as soon as humanly possible.

With that being said, in the past few months, I have seen an increasingly concerning amount of posts on various social media outlets complaining about the stories being reported in the news. One post particularly stood out to me- someone on Facebook had ranted about the fact that news broadcasts should be telling people about all of the soldiers who had died fighting for our country.

I am BY NO MEANS saying that this is a bad idea, or that it should not be incorporated into news broadcasts more often. I completely agree that soldiers who sacrifice themselves for the United States deserve proper recognition. My issue toward this one individual was that this person continued to rant on and on about how news today is uninformative, and that it, (specifically NBC Nightly News) should be using it’s time for more ‘important things,’ such as recognition for diseased soldiers.

As a first year journalism student, one of my first lessons in my introductory class was to report relevant news in a timely fashion. NBC Nightly news is only a half an hour broadcast, even less with commercials, so while saying the names of soldiers who died in combat for a half an hour would indeed be proper recognition for their sacrifice, it just isn’t practical. People need to be informed of news that is going on in the world or in an area near them so they can be informed and, if necessary, be prepared.

For example, if a storm as severe as Hurricane Sandy was back in 2012 was headed up the East Coast, people are obligated to know about it, to hear about its severity, and to become up-to-date on safety precautions or statements from the government. If 25 minutes of a half an hour news broadcast is used for biographies on soldiers, people would miss other important stories that could impact their lives, such as a severe weather update, major political story, or, unfortunately more common nowadays, an act of terrorism. People deserve to be informed and the news is the most accurate and reliable outlet to do so.

So please, stop bashing news outlets for not reporting on the news YOU want to hear/deem important. Just because you do not feel that a certain story is informative does not mean that everyone else feels the same way. As a future journalist, it frustrates me to see people complaining about other people in the field actually doing their jobs and informing the public about what they need to know. There are SO many resources for you to use in order to find articles on topics you may think are more important than others, so take advantage of them and stop criticizing journalists for doing what they are supposed to be doing.