Good, bad and often ugly – it’s the news
WATCH VIDEO – Plymouth Township Trustee Bob Doroshewitz calls for ethics investigation at April 2014 Board Meeting
Apr. 17, 2014 PLYMOUTH VOICE.
By Susan Willett
Associated Newspapers of Michigan
There is no hiding from the bad news in the world.
Politicians betray our faith and trust and commit corrupt or improper acts. Our fellow man perpetrates horrors on innocents, often children. Authority is misused and power wielded as a weapon. There are disasters in the world, floods, tornadoes, epidemics of illness.
Horrible atrocities are committed and terrible things happen, usually on a daily basis.
Unfortunately, it is a part of life. An unpleasant part, but still, a part of the world in which we live. Even more unfortunately, we need to be aware of these instances and circumstances if we are to protect ourselves and those we love.
We have all here been subjected repeatedly recently to the old refrain, “I don’t read the papers or watch the news on TV, there is just too much bad news.” Do these people have any idea of the selfishness, the shallowness, the arrogance of such a statement? How wonderful for them that they can live their lives above all the suffering and poverty others face. How elite and superior to the rest of the world they must feel, never having to acknowledge the hardships and pain of their fellow man. And how eerily convenient to be able to escape any feeling of compassion or empathy, much less any feeling of responsibility to help effect change. Their delicate sensibilities simply cannot bear the realities of life here on Earth and their statement also makes it clear to listeners that they have the security to stay above the fray of the mere mortals who are subject to the daily vicissitudes of life.
Ah, they argue, what can I do? It is just all so terrible, how could I change anything?
They can change things, we all can, because believe it or not, most things are, in some small way, subject to changes each of us is able to make.
When politicians betray our trust and fail to represent us properly, we can exercise our rights, here in America, and recall them or campaign against them in the next election. At the very least, we can use our vote against them. But if we don’t know what they have done, if their malfeasance and failure isn’t brought to our attention in a credible and objective way, minus all the party politics, how can we make changes for the better?
When disasters strike, we can help. We can donate funds, clothing, housewares that we might normally simply cast off to those who have been left homeless by fire or flood or other calamity. We can support our local charities and civic groups with our time, our money or both.
When crimes against innocents occur, we need to know that those evils lurk among us so that we can protect those we love from them. When the economy has failed and so many are homeless and jobless, how can we help if we don’t know?
How could we ever keep our family, our children, our seniors, even our pets safe from predators if we had no idea that such aberrations of the human mind existed? Simply, we couldn’t.
Yes, we know, the bad news is difficult to watch and read and hear. That difficulty, however, is the price we need to pay for being a part of the solution, of the improvement, of the betterment of the world and of ourselves as a race.
We know how difficult this type of news is because we face it, every day. We have an obligation and a trust to bring all the news we possibly can, both good and bad, to those we serve. We cannot hide behind the mantra of “good news” to cheer those who deny their responsibilities in the world and promote those who may hide their errors or crimes beneath a cloak of respectability.
We too, despise sensationalism. We, too, find the partisan, political tripe that at least one major news station, and some newspapers, drape around themselves abhorrent. Their credibility, their objectivity, goes as far as the next stockholders’ meeting or balance sheet.
The news is the news is the news. Often it is good, but much of it is bad. One does not exist without the other and it is the knowledge of the bad that provides us with the power to do good.
That’s our mission and philosophy. We will continue in this new year to attempt to bring all the news to those who are compassionate, intelligent and thoughtful enough to understand it.
This editorial was originally published Jan. 5, 2012.