Be careful of what gets your attention

Just when I thought the mainstream media was becoming less rele-vant in America, I realized they have an increasingly important role to play. But not in the way you think.
All sectors of the econ-omy are capable of being disrupted. Communica-tions and media are no exception. With the matu-ration of the internet, the advent of social media, competition on the televi-sion, we are living in a disrupted world of media.

Is there a difference anymore, between out-rage and faux outrage? I don’t know. We have amazing displays of each, everywhere you look on your preferred screen. Twenty four hours a day you can be offended. Or not. Pick up a newspaper and while you drink your coffee, read about which personal confrontation is highlighted today.
There is one huge problem with mainstream media in America. It has diminished profitability, and as a result has in-creasingly begun chasing the tabloid headlines and venomous tweets of per-sonal destruction, in an effort to survive financial-ly. Instead of focusing on the policies and impact of leadership decisions across the political spec-trum, mainstream media has become obsessed with the sideshows of personality and politically incorrect language of to-day. Media has become language cops instead of investigative reporters.
The danger is this: who’s watching the big picture?

If our media is so con-sumed with exercising its muscle gained by in-creased modern surveil-lance of people, where virtually everything be-comes public knowledge, and chooses to focus on all the personal follies of people instead of issues—who is going to have the discipline to cover our deeply important public policies, and convey the importance of those ideas to the populace?
Mainstream media has the responsibility of being disciplined in what gets its attention. We need unbiased coverage of poli-cy proposals, not partisan angles or personal at-tacks. There needs to be a difference in content be-tween educated journal-ists and the angry anony-mous words found throughout the internet. We’re not seeing it.
Let’s get back to ba-sics. Let’s tolerate histori-cal context. Let’s be smarter about what gets our attention.

Corey Stapleton
Montana Secretary of State