Someone help me, I got dumb! Not because of finals stress or because of lacking education at our university.
I must even say that I keep up with my courses.
And, working at the Campus Times supplies me with a lot of knowledge of what is happening on campus.
But my sorrows lie beneath the borders of the ULV community. I feel clueless about what is going on in the world and three words makes me shiver: “Current events quiz.”
I agree with every teacher, who wants his students to be informed about the happenings in the U.S. and worldwide and weekly tests their knowledge. But I still flunk it and feel embarrassed most of the time.
Keeping up with the world news seems so convenient with the multimedia of Internet, newspaper, radio and TV sources. But for a student, living in the dorms, things are not as easy as they seem. Let’s take a closer look at my options.
The Internet connection in my room does not work and walking to the computer lab every day is just too time-consuming.
Buying the newspaper every day is, first, expensive, second, time-consuming, and third – most important for me – way too inconvenient.
So, I have the choice between radio and TV. Radio has the disadvantage that it can hardly satisfy my MTV-generation expectations of full sensory overload.
And it has the other big disadvantage that neither me, nor my roommate, owns a radio.
So I’m stuck with the TV.
Before I came to the U.S., the TV was like a father to me, sometimes entertaining, sometimes educating. But as soon as I crossed the Atlantic, those times were over.
Here in the U.S., the TV is not like a father to me, but like a crazy friend that really knows how to have fun, but is often irresponsible and does neither know nor care about what is good for you.
Zapping through the different newscasts night by night, all I see is breaking news, car chases, celebrity trials – the world must have gone crazy.
But the world is still the same, as I found out by watching German news on the Internet and by reading the newspaper, it’s just shown from a different perspective, the Hollywood perspective.
Journalists are gatekeepers, they decide which information to deliver to the public and which not. The American newscasts seem to take this decision by looking at the movie charts, where they see that the people like action, so they deliver action, car chases, informationless news in big pictures.
I understand that it must be hard to make news in a country that unites so many cultures.
The high diversity makes it hard to put a news program together, that interests everyone.
So the producers go the easy way and speak to the lowest, but culture-wide, and uniting human interests. The lowest common denominators of drama, explosions and eye candy.
Today’s news should live up to its original role and not only “infotain,” but also educate. Objectively tell the people what happens in the world outside.
Educate the public and educate me, so that I won’t flunk my next test.
Max Zänker, an international student, is LV Life editor of the Campus Times. He can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.