cari_tretinaBY: CARI TRETINA

Television sets haven’t always been a novelty for all families to enjoy. The mid and late 1950s in America is when televisions became a common household item. Channels and shows were very limited, and movies were still strictly in the theaters.

The limited variety in choices of entertainment also meant a limited amount of different news sources. People still relied heavily on print news, but the nightly news was a show very few missed. The best and most exciting way to know what happened the night and entire day prior was to watch the newscast at night.

In 2013 if you want to know what happened 15 minutes ago, just check your phone. Even though people have always wanted to know what is happening at all times, we haven’t had the ubiquitous access to news and current events like we do now.

It should be no surprise technology has been the main factor with this news frenzy. News outlets have affiliates, two or more channels and websites. When a story breaks, news crews can be at the sight in minutes, if they weren’t already there. Plus, we can watch and read the news from these sources on our television, computers, phones and tablets at all hours of any given day.

The 24-hour, seven-day updated news stories might actually be a good thing. People can be alarmed of a crisis or emergency immediately, a vote in Congress can be known as its happening, and international news is just as prevalent as national news.

However, the stories and news reported in most cases are just to hold readership or viewers. News outlets are businesses, so to make a profit and sell advertisements people need to be accessing their information.

Sadly, topics that people want to watch are not about politics or events affecting someone’s daily life. Murders, deaths and crimes are happenings that are going to catch attention. A person can lose all faith in humanity after watching the nightly news today.

I will say, though, this depressing news is better than entertainment news. New sources such as CNN and NBC have entire segments and websites dedicated to celebrity news and updates. Snooki’s pregnancy or Kim Kardashian’s numerous divorces are more important to some than a bill restricting the selling of alcohol and spirits in grocery stores here in Kentucky.

This combination of news highlighting pointless events because the people only want to hear about these pointless events could be detrimental to society. The more uninformed people are about actual important occurrences could hurt our education and political system. Elected officials are voted into office because of a limited amount of knowledge by the voters, and our children and young adults don’t understand the workings of our government because they aren’t taking the time to understand the hard news.

Regardless if it is the news sources’ fault or the people’s fault, we need to start paying attention to more important events than which celebrity couple broke up. The news is supposed to inform, and not entirely entertain.