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24 hour news

Introduction

The 24 hour news cycle

The start of the 24-hour news cycle revolutionized the way we consume information, providing us with constant updates and breaking news from around the world. However, a critical observation reveals a disturbing trend: the disproportionate amount of time dedicated to frivolous stories, such as the misadventures of a few uber-rich individuals, as compared to the pressing issue of global climate change and its catastrophic consequences. This essay delves into the skewed priorities of the 24-hour news cycle, shedding light on the detrimental effects of this misplaced focus and the urgency of redirecting media attention toward the existential threat of climate change.

The Obsession with Celebrity Culture

One of the key factors behind the 24-hour news cycle’s inclination towards frivolous stories is society’s obsession with celebrity culture. As media outlets aim to capture viewers’ attention and maximize profits, they often prioritize sensational stories related to the lives of wealthy and famous individuals. The excessive coverage of five uber-rich people lost in a submersible vehicle exemplifies this trend, as it caters to the public’s insatiable appetite for drama and voyeurism. Unfortunately, this focus diverts attention away from pressing issues that affect the entire global community.

The Profit Motive

Another significant driver behind prioritizing frivolous stories is the profit motive underpinning the media industry. The 24-hour news cycle thrives on advertising revenue, and sensational stories tend to attract a larger audience. As a result, media outlets frequently opt for stories that generate higher ratings and engagement, rather than those that require in-depth analysis or reporting on complex issues like climate change. Consequently, the detrimental consequences of climate change, which impact people’s lives and future generations, receive inadequate coverage and fail to receive the attention they deserve.

Lack of Awareness and Education

A fundamental challenge that contributes to the skewed priorities of the 24-hour news cycle is the lack of widespread awareness and education regarding the severity of global climate change. Many individuals remain uninformed or misinformed about the far-reaching consequences of climate change, which may lead to apathy or ignorance regarding its coverage in the media. The lack of urgency surrounding climate change exacerbates the problem, allowing frivolous stories to dominate the news cycle while the havoc unleashed by climate change goes unaddressed.

The Need for Responsible Journalism

To rectify this imbalance, the 24-hour news cycle must embrace responsible journalism that prioritizes issues of global significance. Media outlets have a crucial role to play in raising awareness, educating the public, and mobilizing action to mitigate the catastrophic effects of climate change. By dedicating substantial airtime and resources to covering climate-related events, scientific advancements, and policy debates, the media can foster a greater understanding of the urgent need for climate action.

The Role of Public Demand

As consumers of news, we hold significant power in shaping the content produced by the 24-hour news cycle. By demanding more coverage of climate change and expressing our disapproval of frivolous stories, we can exert pressure on media outlets to prioritize the most critical issues of our time. Public demand for responsible journalism can steer the 24-hour news cycle towards a more balanced and impactful approach, ensuring that the global climate crisis receives the attention it deserves.

Promoting Sustainable Practices and Solutions

Responsible journalism within the 24-hour news cycle should not only focus on raising awareness but also on promoting sustainable practices and solutions. The media can inspire individuals, businesses, and governments to take meaningful action by highlighting success stories and innovative initiatives that address climate change. This can include showcasing renewable energy projects, sustainable agriculture practices, and conservation efforts, among others. Such coverage not only informs the public but also encourages positive change and fosters a collective sense of responsibility.

Collaborative Efforts and International Cooperation

Given the global nature of climate change, international cooperation is vital in mitigating its effects. The 24-hour news cycle can play a crucial role in fostering dialogue and facilitating collaboration among nations. By dedicating significant airtime to international climate conferences, agreements, and policy developments, the media can help shape public opinion and encourage governments to prioritize climate action. Through comprehensive reporting and analysis, the media can promote a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of global climate change and the need for collaborative solutions.

The Power of Local Reporting

While global climate change receives extensive coverage, the 24-hour news cycle must not overlook the importance of local reporting. Climate change affects communities on a regional and individual level, with unique challenges and solutions. By highlighting the local impacts of climate change, such as extreme weather events, rising sea levels, or the loss of biodiversity, the media can foster empathy and inspire grassroots action. Local reporting provides an opportunity to connect global issues with local realities, making climate change a tangible and urgent concern for individuals everywhere.

Holding Corporations and Governments Accountable

Beyond raising awareness and promoting sustainable practices, responsible journalism within the 24-hour news cycle should hold corporations and governments accountable for their actions and policies regarding climate change. Investigative reporting can expose environmental abuses, unethical practices, and inadequate climate policies. By bringing these issues to light, the media can initiate public discourse, spark public outrage, and pressure institutions to adopt more environmentally responsible practices. This serves as a crucial step towards demanding greater accountability from those in power.

In Conclusion

The 24-hour news cycle holds immense power to shape public opinion and influence policy decisions. By redirecting its focus from frivolous stories towards the urgent matter of global climate change, the media can fulfill its role as a catalyst for positive change. Responsible journalism, driven by public demand, can drive awareness, promote sustainable practices, foster international cooperation, empower local communities, and hold institutions accountable. Only by prioritizing the pressing issues of climate change can the 24-hour news cycle truly fulfill its role in shaping a sustainable and resilient future for all.

Post Script

In Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 Captain Beatty speaking to Montag, the disillusioned Fireman who sees little to gain in burning books, sums up the idea of the 24-hour news cycle in a terrifying way. I paraphrase here…If we give the people what they want, like how much corn is grown in Iowa, or who won the latest game, they will be satisfied and we can do anything we want.

Published in October of 1953, nearly 70 years ago, and now on the banned book list, the anti-intellectualism voiced by Bradbury is palpable in the United States today. Only knowledge, truth, and critical thinking will extricate us from the fascism of the right wing.

By Politics-as-Usual

Roger is a retired Professor of language and literacy. Over the past 15 years since his retirement, Roger has kept busy with reading, writing, and creating landscape photographs. In this time of National crisis, as Fascist ideas and policies are being introduced to the American people and ignored by the Mainstream Press, he decided to stand up and be counted as a Progressive American with some ideas that should be shared with as many people who care to read and/or participate in discusssions of these issues. He doesn't ask anyone to agree with his point of view, but if entering the conversation he demands civility. No conspiracy theories, no wild accusations, no threats, no disrespect will be tolerated. Roger monitors all comments and email communication. That is the only rule for entering the conversation. One may persuade, argue for a different point of view, or toss out something that has not been discussed so long as the tone remains part of a civil discussion. Only then can we find common ground and meaningful democratic change.

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