Why Should I Care?

You are self-centred.

As am I.

We all are.

The issue of apathy is one of the greatest struggles in journalism today. RenegadeEconomist elucidates how punching through the instilled mentality of ‘It doesn’t affect me so why should I care?’ is almost impossible in our society of unquestioned accepted norms.

Alastair Campbell demonstrates how it is our governments, our schools and our media who create this accepted apathy. We shy away from teaching politics or other world issues in our developing years least it become propaganda, but we are then instigating the belief that if it’s not near me, it isn’t that important.

Our Western lethargic attitude to issues such as world poverty, violence and environmental issues force journalists to decrease the amount of stories they put out about these critical problems, because why write about something that no one wants to read?

This perpetuates the cycle of apathy as the limited coverage of non-newsworthy issues causes the public to be ignorant of them, and thus it becomes extremely difficult to create an empathic mentality towards an issue that you are unaware of, so no one covers them. And round and round we go.

Social media has been used in the UK and Canada to remove this stigma, but it remains too early to say whether this effort has the strength to redefine humanity.

But even when we are able to break through our armour of apathy and grab a glimpse of the real world, we don’t always appreciate our new perception.

The case of Julian Assange is a prime example of this. The WikiLeaks phenomenon shattered our frosted view of the ethics of our governments, and half of us praised his daring and commitment to the truth, while the rest raged against the invasion of privacy and the legality of his actions.

Although we may not admit it, we enjoy our apathy. It shields us from the realities of the world, from the suffering of others, from the intentions of our governments, and most importantly, it shields us from ourselves.

It is then the duty of journalists to produce news on these issues. We are the ones that can break the cycle of apathy, if only we cared enough to do it.

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