Dear Next President,
When’s the last time you were watching the morning news and heard a newscaster mention an environmental issue and how it could be fixed? Your answer is probably "not recently." A new study done by Environmental Coverage reveals that environmental stories represent just 1% of news headlines in the US. Our society has become so accustomed to media displaying news on solely crime and entertainment that I sometimes wonder if people even realize how fragile of a state our planet and its organisms are in. Although efforts are being made in numerous aspects of our daily lives and on a grand scale to protect our planet, there is still so much improvement to be made. And where that starts is with awareness.
Instead of “educating” our nation on the lives of insignificant celebrities, we should be seeing more coverage on issues that impact not only our planet, but ourselves, our kids and generations to come. Imagine if media was to increase coverage of environmental stories to just half as much as crime stories. Teenagers would have instant access to news that would help them see what they can do to make a difference. Although media can be ineffective depending on its audience and what it’s about, I have a strong feeling that even a slight increase in the amount of environmental coverage would later lead to increased job interest in environmental fields. If a field like the fashion industry can continue to grow, I believe we can do something to help kids, teenagers and even adults see our planet as not just a priority, but an interest too.
Now I know to a large majority of society the words “environmental issues” don’t spark any interest, but they can. When I use the words environmental issues it doesn’t have to mean issues only pertaining to climate or plant life. What if there was news on some crazy unique animal that was soon to go extinct? Don’t you think someone out there would want to know what they could do to help? Although sports and entertainment are big money makers, that doesn't mean they are most important. I think certain environment issues could catch just as much attention. Now with that said it depends on the placement of the news as well.
According to Environmental Coverage the media type with the most stories on environmental issues is the newspaper; the media type with the least coverage is Morning Network News. If our entire nation were to start reading the newspaper, this might not be such a problem, but now that we’ve begun to switch from paper to online, radio, cable or network news, placement of certain stories are essentially becoming pointless.
So overall, what I’m asking of you is to think about how important our planet is. If it’s less valuable than knowing which celebrity broke up with who, or which police officer spoke a racial slur, I stand corrected. But if you agree with me, that we need to focus more on issues such as climate change, pollution, environmental degradation, resource depletion, and protection of endangered species in order to provide a diverse, healthy home for future generations, big changes need to made.