In a speech yesterday at Lehman College in New York, President Obama addressed one of the most widely discussed topics of the ongoing Baltimore riots: news outlets’ tendency to turn a blind eye to the city’s many peaceful protests. He said that TV cameras have come to solely focus on protesters lighting fires and turning cars, which in turn results in groups casting blame on one another. It has become a perpetual cycle, he said, with many waiting idly for the next outbreak.
We recognize, as members of the media, the age-old newsroom adage: “If it bleeds, it ledes”. Many consumers, however, often fail to remember that there is important news beyond flamboyant headlines and violent B-roll. People must willfully and actively seek out this content, which includes reports of peaceful community rallies and organized discussions.
The Editorial Board encourages our readers to be critical while engaging with news. Consumers should pursue various sources of information, including grossly underappreciated citizen media, before arriving at personal assessments of any one subject. We value and applaud ardent and impassioned consumers of media. As Obama noted in his address, there are consequences to indifference.
Graphic by Jennifer Wu.