What to do about the BP Oil Spill

Recently I was walking my dog and ran into a neighbor.  Our conversation turned to the news, and, after recounting the latest horrors in the BP oil spill situation, the neighbor said, “And there’s nothing you can do about it!”  He proceeded to list other troubles in the news — banking, the economy, Greece and the Euro — and after each problem he repeated his refrain, “And there’s nothing you can do about it!”

While I know that many of you are quite resourceful and might come up with at least something to do — e.g. write your senator, volunteer, etc. — it’s not because the media gave you any ideas about how to respond.  Think about it — what do you do when you have a problem?  If you are committed to addressing it, then you would likely look at it from all angles and make a concerted effort to understand what went wrong, determine what you can do to resolve the problem, and take actions to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.  Yes, it takes time, thought, research, and far more effort than just complaining about the situation.  Maybe the news media should serve this purpose for the consumers of its stories.  There are lots of experts out there that journalists can tap who have worked for years on any given issue and are passionate about contributing what they know that can make a difference.

Which would you prefer:  a news story that shows you in graphic details and tells you all about a problem, then leaves you stunned and frustrated, depressed or resigned about what you can do about it?  Or do you want a media that makes a difference — one that covers the news, but also offers new insights and understanding about how you can use the news to make a difference in your life and the lives of others?  Can journalists collaborate not just with the subjects of the stories but also with sources who are committed to solving specific problems that confront us?  What would it take to give viewers a full view of who, what, when, where, why — and what to do about it?

It’s time to reboot the media, and the news is a great place to start.  What do you think?

Categories: News

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1 reply

  1. Sure it would be *nice* if the news media gave us ideas of how to be involved – how to tangibly help out a situation (send clothes to a certain location or money to a certian group) or at least lodge complaint beyond sending the senator a letter. I send enough of those already. I am sure I’m on a list somewhere.

    I am more cynical – I simply do not believe the leaders in our society want to know how we feel. Better yet, they want to control HOW we feel by spoonfeeding information to us. Our media is so controlled – it’s obvious that reporters and journalists are told what to say. Rare is an actual investigative report that is worth reading or watching. And for the most part their motives are not philanthropic or even intellectual – it’s all just about money.

    There is a TON of energy out there among the masses to make the world a better place. If that energy can be channeled and directed – who knows what we could do! There are a lot of more of us regular folk out there than the elitist puppeteers – if only we knew how much power we really have and how to wield it for the good of humankind!

    That said, I think internet based media is going to be the catalyst for change. There is no power in being passive – the more involved we get, the more we tap into our power and the more adept we can become at bringing about the changes we want to see. Then we every day citizens will get an opportunity to sit at the grown up table for Thanksgiving.

    We get to be part of the process/solution, when and only when, we choose to be part of the process/solution. Nothing can stop the masses.

    I like your vision – I will tune in. I will share ideas. I’m thinking right now about how to keep the “spotlight” burning. I will post any ideas I come up with!

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