Is real news buried by pop culture?

By Andrea Anastassov, Columnist

It should be easy to be an informed citizen of society with so many different forms of media and news outlets in the world today.

Checking the news every once in awhile should be a habit. It allows you to know what’s going on in the world, in the nation or even in your own backyard.

But in today’s society it seems that finding time to watch the nightly news or programs like CNN doesn’t always fit into someone’s day. Or maybe watching news programs simply doesn’t interest them. Most people think that if something tragic happens in a neighborhood far away from theirs, it doesn’t affect them.

People will reach more quickly for a Cosmopolitan magazine than they would for a newspaper, or they’ll spend more time taking a BuzzFeed quiz than they’ll dedicate to reading the news.

Last Tuesday, another fatal police shooting struck in Charlotte, North Carolina. Keith Lamont Scott was shot by a police officer in front of an apartment complex while waiting for his son to come home from school.

This has been just one of many fatal police shootings in the United States this year, which not only saddens but also angers many citizens. Many citizens began to protest, which in some cases has led to dangerous and deadly riots.

Two days after the shooting, the entire city of Charlotte had a midnight curfew and local college campuses even had to be put on lockdown. This could happen anywhere, and it’s important to tune in to the news to be aware and prepared if it does.

When the shooting happened, I actually found out about it through the nightly news, which I happened to click on while watching TV with friends. This was my first time hearing about it, and it ended up being the last.

Afterwards, I was scrolling through my social media, and all that I saw was the split of “Brangelina.”

Yes, after about 10 years of being possibly the world’s biggest power couple, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are getting divorced.

That news broke on Tuesday as well, and people were losing their minds about how love had died. All I saw were tweets, polls and Jennifer Aniston memes relating to this “breaking news.”

This continued on through the rest of the week with all the celebrity pop culture magazines eating up the story and then spitting it back at anyone willing to read it.

Brangelina seemed like the biggest news of the week; however, there were shootings and protests in Charlotte which I barely heard about. It is just the way people use the media available to them.

Pop culture is a big part of our lives as Americans. We thrive on the latest television shows and the newest music. Even Netflix is becoming a basic need as much as eating or sleeping.

An unfortunate effect of this dependence on pop culture is that people are becoming more and more unaware of what’s happening in the real world. It’s okay to love entertainment news, but letting it overshadow a real issue in the country is not.

There are real and deeply rooted issues not only in our country, but in others as well. Yet people either don’t hear about them or they choose not to care. We are becoming too immersed in things that do not matter.

Maybe they do this because they don’t realize that their town could be the next Charlotte.

Ignorance is bliss, and it seems people would rather read about irrelevant topics than realize what is going on.
Society is ever-changing, and at the moment it is completely immersed in pop culture.

Andrea is a freshman in Media. 

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