Given that America’s two major party candidates have yielded record-breaking, historically large unfavorable ratings, it’s become clear that the news has been reporting under the influence of this crucial election. They’re focusing on these sensational events, while overlooking other significant political and social issues.
With a spray-tanned orange businessman, childish tweets, private emails, Islamophobia, middle-school-style insults flooding the GOP debate stages, the first female presidential nominee of a major political party, and minimal discussion of actual platforms and policies, there’s something for everyone to roll their eyes at, protest, or cheer on this year.
However, this is leaving Americans uninformed. Society has developed a dependency on these trusted news sources, now more than ever causing people to forget there’s more going on in the world. It takes digital digging through websites, mobile apps, and more to educate ourselves on events beyond Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Here’s what America missed on TV recently, in no particular order:
1. Crime in America is actually down, but 61% of Americans incorrectly believe it’s on the rise.
2. Almost 100 Ethiopians were murdered at a peaceful protest while demanding justice against institutionalized political and economic marginalization.
3. President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, linked approximately 150 government officials to illegal drug trade.
4. Earth’s resources allocated for 2016 consumption are already used up, as of August 2016.
5. Japan is on high alert for a potential North Korean-Japanese War, as North Korea fired a missile on August 3rd that reached Japan’s sovereign waters.
6. The Burundian government rejected the UN Security Council’s proposal to deploy UN police officers that would monitor the systematic abuses and human rights violations within their borders.
7. Peace talks among the Houthis and the government of expelled President Hadi in Yemen failed, only worsening the ongoing civil war.
9. California’s interstate renewable energy plan has been put on hold due to “persistent concerns about whether the plan would undermine California’s environmental efforts or reduce its control over the grid.”
10. UK consumer spending is up, even though the uncertainty of Brexit’s aftermath still lurks above Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
While this is not a complete list, and is missing many events such as North Korea and Cameroon signing the Paris Climate Agreement before nations like China and the United States, it shows how filtered and sensationalized our news has become.
When was the last time national or international televised news mentioned the physical and sexual abuse of Native American children in Catholic schools? The rise of Scientology in Taiwan? The economic crisis in Venezuela that turned into civil unrest?
In the sarcastic words of Jerry Seinfeld, “It’s amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits the newspaper.”