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In every aspect of our lives we are surrounded by news. When we put the radio on in the car, switch the TV on, go on the Internet, go on our phones, go to the shops and when we speak to others that we meet, we can be faced with all kinds of news.
So many of us just consume it without giving it a second thought. For that minute when we are engaged with it we are interested and then when we turn away, turn the page or switch it off, it doesn’t matter any more. So many times we will read a news story quickly, immediately form an opinion and move on to another.
An article is more than just a headline
Do you spend the time to read a full article and not just a headline? Do you let the article sink in and give yourself time to think about it? Do you spend time to find out more about the situation?
With the throwaway media culture we currently live in and with the explosion of 24-hour news I think we have to guard against just becoming a world of passive news consumers. We must make sure our hearts do not get hardened to the news. It is too easy just to not emotionally react or connect with the news, as for many of us there is only so much bad and horrific news stories you can consume before you disconnect from the human side of them.
We don’t need to feel helpless
Sometimes we feel helpless and think that we can’t do anything to change or help the situation that we are hearing about. We can allow ourselves to think that we can’t make a difference or to think it isn’t our problem. I want to say in this blog though that you can make a difference and my belief has been further inspired by the response to a news story I heard about this week.
After a football match in England between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Watford, Watford fan Nick Cruwys was attacked on his journey back to the train station and left in a critical condition. Nick is now fighting for his life in hospital. Many news companies, like the BBC, covered this incident:
I’m sure many people had a read of this news story and then clicked on to another article or another website. One person however decided they could do something. That person was Ollie Floyd who set up a fundraising page with a target of raising £1000 for Nick and as I type the total currently stands at £22,974:
Now at the moment Nick needs to pull through and needs the best care but what this page has done has acted as a place for people to offer support and hope. The page has helped lift the morale of the friends and family around Nick and has kept people thinking about Nick by keeping this story in the news.
One person can make a difference
It took one person in Ollie Floyd a small amount of time to set up a page but this small act started a movement. It showed that we don’t have to feel so hopeless when we read the news. It showed that it just takes one person to inspire others. When you read or hear a news story there will be many people around the world feeling the same as you about it but sometimes it will take you stepping out and doing something to give other people the chance and confidence to do something.
What you do doesn’t have to be about raising money or setting up a web page it can literally be anything! Your response could be to campaign, to volunteer, to help someone or choosing to give your custom to a different company. Your response doesn’t have to be big, your response doesn’t have to change the world but your response is needed.
Ollie could have set this page up and got no responses but at least by doing it he would have been able to go to bed that night knowing he tried to do something. If you try and do something because of a news item and it doesn’t work, do not give up or be discouraged. The more we all try, the more we will all be encouraged and the more news stories like that of the online response to the original news article, the greater chance we have to change the world. I want to live in a world where our response to news events is as news worthy as the original events themselves.
Let’s be the generation that reacts to news. Let’s get emotionally connected, let’s care, let’s talk about it, let’s react to it and let’s do something about it.