I read an article written by Andrew Romano, for News Week, discussing in detail the ignorance of the American public in political affairs. This article was largely inspired by a poll News Week conducted on the public, testing them with standardized questions given in the citizenship exam. After reading that a large amount of Americans failed to pass this exam I decided to take it myself. Once I completed the exam, which I failed miserably, I remembered a comment Romano made in his article about the populace being uneducated or non-English speaking immigrants. Being a college student this comment is kind of hard to swallow especially after doing so badly on the exam myself. I would not consider myself to be a genius but I am educated and certainly not a non-English speaking immigrant.
In the article Romano makes a comment of how the percentage of people who passed would be higher if the exam was restricted to more educated people. Though this comment is true, to an extent, I believe that even the more educated citizens would still have trouble with the exam and uninformed decision-making for the same reason uneducated people have trouble with it, media coverage.
Society today is a media society, rich or poor, educated or uneducated, we all receive information and news the same way. Through television, radio, internet or the papers we absorb information and whether we like it or not this information is bias and controlled. Media seems to follow what Americans want to see and Americans want to see celebrity news, international news, or anything else not dealing with political information. This lack of coverage, of real issues, from both sides is the true culprit to the lack of political knowledge in the United States. The surplus of political ignorance of Americans could easily be changed with the implementation of non-bias political news, expressing the true issues of politics and how they affect the people, to stimulate the general publics interest in political affairs.
Many would say that their are forms of media available to the public that does give non bias news. Wile these forms, National Public Radio (NPR) and Public Broadcast Station (PBS), are very informed media institutions that talk about real issues, they are unfortunately not as commonly watched or listened to. The vast majority of NPR and PBS’s audience consist of educated listeners who know the validity of public broadcasting. Many of American citizens are completely unaware that federal funded broadcast stations exist and those who know of these institutions are under the assumption that the low budget of these stations diminish the quality of information being given. This leaves most of the population waiting for there daily news on television, morning paper, or the internet.
If there is any way to inform the people on political information, television or the internet would be the medium to use. These forms of media are what the people are...