News Depicts Alternate Reality

by Noah Corman ’19

There exists a disconnect between the world that the news projects and the world as it actually is. This phenomenon is toxic—in order to survive, media outlets must cater to their users’ interests, sacrificing the people’s needs for their petty wants. The top headlines, if taken as a legitimate reflection of America, would indicate that chaos and futility had a chokehold on us. The U.S. has resumed its trade war with China, a man was killed with a machete, and a disease appeared in Iowa that can pass from dogs to humans. And of course the obligatory celebrity drama.

However, that is not America. People just prefer to hear about these types of events. The result is a myriad of negative, eye-catching headlines and stories with a lack of substance. A woman recently managed to preserve 763,000 square miles of ocean, but no one saw this fantastic role model on the front pages of any major publication because the major outlets did not report on it. This drives down empathy and propagates cynicism. Nothing else is to be expected when readers are faced with such skewed reporting. As a consequence of tragedy after tragedy uninterrupted by welcome news, people either become insensitive to the horrors of the world or overwhelmed by them.