Staff Editorial: Searching for middle ground in news coverage

By Duke Staff

During times of crisis, it can be overwhelming or confusing as a student to know just what is really going on, many times in the very country we live in. Take for example the storm of government shutdown coverage that continues to rain down on newsstands and feeds across the states.

Instantaneous, lengthy articles from national sources are accessible to anyone at any time thanks to modern technology. But in many cases the articles we come across build off of other critical information released in previous pieces, leaving the reader with the decision of either to dig deeper or give in to the media blitz.

In recent trends though, many hybrid entertainment/news sites such as Buzzfeed and Thought Catalog have taken to covering national news by “simplifying” the information by making comparisons to popular television shows or movies.

As a student neither of these styles of coverage are helpful. It should not be a struggle to read about what is going on around us nor should information be GIF’ed down to metaphors of the death of thousands or the shutdown of the government.  What we need is perspective.

In photography, the best photos often fall under two categories in terms of framing. Wide expansive shots from afar that bring the whole subject to light, or tight close ups that place emphasis on the details in relation to the subject.

We believe the same goes for news coverage. Look to international news sites like the BBC for the best, least – biased information on coverage of the U.S. Then, continue to read what’s in front of you.  Local community and school newspapers aim to reach their audience and will put the information you need and care about in your hands.

On Oct.  1 all government functions shut down. Yes, landmarks like the National Zoo and Statue of Liberty have temporarily closed but more important branches of government have shut their doors such as the Justice Department, The National Institutes of Health and Housing and Development. An estimated 800,000 federal workers have been sent home, according to The Washington Post.

Why? Each year these branches of government must be funded to maintain operations. Last Monday, Congress could not agree on how to fund these, which leaves branches no choice but to close down.

But this disagreement has happened before, 17 times actually. These shut downs have lasted anywhere from 1to 21 days back in 1995-’96. The longer Congress struggles to come to an agreement the greater the impact it has on our society.