A good friend of mine posted a comment on his Facebook page and it’s made me think all day:
“Colorado shootings still on news channels, yet not one word has been said about the genocide of Muslims in Burma. Thousands have been shot, burned and slugged; and news agencies are still covering 12 dead in Colorado?? So please, shut the f**k up about Colorado, why give a f**k about 12 dead, when even the UN doesn’t seem to care about 1000’s dead in a genocide.”
As someone who works in media, I only had one answer for him; it just doesn’t sell. Sadly, it seems like the news is about sensationalism and the next big thing for ratings/reads/hits and less about the pursuit and distribution of information. This saddens me.
Although my dear friend’s point was valid, most of the coverage of the shooting in Aurora, CO is about victim shaming and sensationalizing the killer. The parents of the late Veronica Moser-Sullivan are being villified for taking the tot to the movie theatre in the first place (same with the parents of a three month old who was also injured). More questions have been posed as to why the victims were there than the investigation itself. These people went to a movie, they didn’t deserve what happened.
This doesn’t negate my friend’s point, which is that over 500 thousand Burmese people have been slaughtered by their own government since 1996 and you’ve probably barely heard anything about it. Whether it’s 12 people or 12 million people, a loss of life is a loss. People have been ruthlessly taken from their families and friends in a cold and violent manner. Unfortunately, we as a society have lost our humanity somewhat. We turn to social networking sites to tell us when to care (think Kony 2012) and then obey them when they tell us to stop. Even the media takes it’s cue from these sites and promotes tweets from people as news.
So, why not use it to our advantage? We all have a voice, let’s use them. My friend used the only platform available to him to speak his mind & people listened. His voice inspired me to write this blog. Imagine what happens when more people use theirs?
We as people need to use the “new media” to our advantage. Should Facebook tell us what to care about? No, but you should use it to tell people what YOU care about, because someone is listening & they probably care too.
I’m going to end this with a link to information on the Burmese genocide. Please take a moment & educate yourself & donate to help those in need. My job is to present information to you & as a member of the media, I hope you read & inform yourself of what’s happening in your world right now.