Dear Mr. or Mrs. President
I am here to discuss and bring forth the issues of America’s unsatisfactory journalism. Now I know this may be an intriguing thing to hear, given that the majority of teens and society do not acknowledge this issue, but I want to bring forth the false ideas that society presents to American citizens in our news. From the drama with social media stars, or the drama with the presidential debates going on at the moment, it is impossible to find useful information that has a purpose along with facts and evidence to support it. Based off of all the information shown on different news platforms from television, social media, or websites, drama is all average citizens can find. This lack of useful information is what I find to be very crucial in our society and needs to be addressed.
I know you might be thinking that people can just get the information if they look hard enough and actually want to, but that is not always the case. According to pewresearch.org as of October 11, 2012 only 23% of Americans read printed newspapers(5). This number is surprisingly low. So now my next question comes in; with so few people reading printed newspapers, how many are using the Internet? Of the “news” they see, how much is actually helpful or important to our daily lives and the society we live in? Are people able to actually get the most newsworthy information easily?
In order to get an idea of what information Americans have access to, I would like to share my findings. On October 17, 2016, I googled “top trending news” and the first link was for TODAY.COM so I instinctivly clicked on it. The top headlines were “Emma Stone Stuns on Vogue Cover - With a Gorgeous Short Do.” and “‘Chewbacca Mom’ Got a Tattoo! Take a Look at Her New Ink.”(6) Even going to FOXNEWS.COM on October 26, one of the main headlines was “Trumps Hollywood Walk of Fame star destroyed, Police Investigate”(3). Time and time again it seems like the main articles are more about the latest hollywood stars gossip, or who is arguing with who over some silly personal issue. Of all the articles though, none give specific unbiased information so people can be informed of important world issues or discoveries. Only when going to the fine print, do you see topics such as “Hurricane Matthew estimates to have caused more than $1 billion in damages in the North Carolina.” or “Seniors brace for smallest Social Security increase on Record.”(3) All these are very important topics that can impact our lives, and they are shrouded by articles on some ladies tattoo’s, and difficult to find.
Now plenty of teens and young adults would probably object to the issue of America's deplorable journalism, and say it isn't necessary to know what is going on in the world. Many think that they do not need to worry about what is occurring in our world, or they associate what happens in our news as depressing and negative given how dreadful events occur every day. So who wants to read all of these important new stories in our world besides researchers and myself? At the very least, every person who is directly affected. If there is a bombing in New York, people who live close by or families may want to know. If a hurricane is costing billions of dollars people may want to know so they could help or donate money. In today’s society, I assure you there is somebody who cares to know about the facts and information of the real world over some star in Hollywood’s latest breakup, or their atrocious outfit.
The saddest part about this idea is that even though some people may enjoy these things, it seems impossible for those who want to get the facts to do so. I know personally that I do enjoy finding out what is going on in our society and the facts that go with it. But it seems to get harder and harder to do so as the years go by. One example of this is in the morning when my Dad and I have to go to the BBC.com in order to find not only world news but American news (1).
Now, I know as the President, you cannot change what people want to read about or choose to ignore, however, I do think you can help give more information to the American citizens on what is occurring in our society. You may have access to this information and see it daily, but there are many adults, and kids who don’t have a way to know what is going on in our government, what's happening with wars, and many other events such as natural disasters.
In the past years, I know there were Presidents who have connected with “American Citizens,” and it helped their presidency immensely. The two main ones were John F. Kennedy and Franklin Delanor Roosevelt, and they used their voice to connect and share with people information.
The first president who I saw impact people through his voice, and his ability to inform Americans on recent issues would be John F. Kennedy. Just talking to my Dad, he feels that based off speeches and things he heard about, people related to and were moved by him. President Kennedy had the ability to talk ‘to’ the people, not ‘at’ the people. A person who was directly Impacted by Kennedy, was Elliot S. Maggin. During the days of the Cuban Missile Crisis, she shared how Kennedy saved her life by the decision he made. More importantly, she realizes how important his decisions were. She realized how dangerous the situation was; Kennedy “had given his speech, the one I listened to with my grandmother and which scared the live ‘bejeebers’ out of me” (4). This idea really stuck with me, as this lady had actually felt a direct impact from this event due to Kennedy’s actions that occurred during the Cold War.
Another president who connected and really gave American Citizens an idea of what was occurring at the time was Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Roosevelt came into office during the Great Depression and WWII. During these times, Roosevelt talked to the American people in Fireside Chats. In these chats he talked on the radio, directly to the American people, in order to calm fears and share what was going on. These fireside chats were very effective in the 1930’s because “almost every home had a radio, and families typically spent several hours a day gathered together, listening to their favorite programs.” (2) Now in today's world, times have changed. Although many people use their phones and the Internet, similar to the past radio shows. The thing is today’s people tend to have too much access to useless information. What we really need to do though, which was done with the Fireside chats, give people a way of knowing what really is happening the way Roosevelt did.
As President, if you are able to connect with our society and explain to us what is happening, it can enable many people to feel a better connection, and make it easier to support and understand what you are doing. Do not just tell us to support your ideas because it is better than the other parties. Give us reasoning and facts; information of how and why it will work or why it needs work. With 91% of adults owing cell phones, and 84% of US households owning computers in 2014, what better way to connect and share information than through the Internet (5). Whether creating a reliable platform such as government news sites, or cell phone apps, the important thing is that we need a way to get information that has a purpose and give people who are interested a good place to get this information.
"BBC - Homepage." BBC - Homepage. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Oct. 2016. <http://www.bbc.com/>.
"FDR's Fireside Chat on the Recovery Program | National Archives." National Archives and Records Administration. National Archives and Records Administration, n.d. Web. 19 Oct. 2016. <https://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/fdr-fireside>.
"Fox News." Fox News. FOX News Network, n.d. Web. 19 Oct. 2016. <http://www.foxnews.com/>.
Maggin, Elliot S. Quora.co. N.p., 2 Oct. 2015. Web. <https://www.quora.com/Why-do-Americans-love-John-F-Kennedy>.
"Pew Research Center." RSS. N.p., 19 Oct. 2016. Web. 19 Oct. 2016. <http://www.pewresearch.org/>.
@TodayShow. "Trending - TODAY.com." TODAY.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Oct. 2016. <http://www.today.com/trending>.