From Common Cause by Michael Copps
There are many reasons why one-issue politics are bad politics. They fuel polarization, they doom the possibility of democratic consensus, and they slam the brakes on across-the-board social and political progress. Most of all they blind us to the complexity of the world we live in. Each issue we care about is connected in some way and relies on a healthy and strong democracy.
So it is that the media issues I have discussed these many years should not be seen in a solitary light. True, I don’t see a solution to the many challenges our country confronts today—health, education, environment, equal opportunity for all, wealth inequality, workers’ rights, and voter suppression, to name but a few—without media doing a much better job presenting those issues to the public. Citizens deserve, indeed require, ample access to facts so we can make informed decisions about our future. Infotainment and reality shows masquerading as “news” are not the stuff of a vibrant democracy.
But media does not exist in a vacuum. It exists within a larger context that molds and fashions how it looks and what it does. Media develops amid the push and pull of powerful forces affecting our democracy, even as it helps shape them. It is both author and victim of its current sad predicament.
Continue reading this perspective here.