This morning, I awoke to a news app notification shooting and deaths of law enforcement in Dallas, Texas. There are no words to describe the horror experienced by those brave officials, as well as by the protesters they were tasked to guard during the event.
Though that tragedy is fresh and at the forefront of our minds, it isn’t the only tragedy that has unfolded in the world the past few weeks.
- The flooding natural disaster in West Virginia has warranted federal aid to assist victims, and 27 people were reported dead at the end of last month.
- Following the death of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, protesters took the streets nationwide–including the same protest where Dallas police officers were targeted.
- While the Islamic community observed their holy time of Ramadan, lives were lost as terrorist attacks linked to ISIS and Radical Islam caused even more distress. Attacks in a cafe in Bangladesh and the Istanbul airport, followed by Baghdad bombings, were all proceeded by rising concern for suicide attacks in Saudi Arabia. The New York Times‘ recent report from the Middle East questions where, if anywhere, there is an outpouring of outrage globally for Muslims.
I could report the daunting and horrifying statistics that represent each of these tragedies. However, every other news source has scouted the facts that we know and reported them to the people. The Associated Press and other outlets have released collaborative statements and alerts directly to our handheld devices in real time.
Unfortunately, my worries and prayers for society do not stop there. I worry and pray for the lack of informed “tweeters” and Facebook “posters.” Interjecting my own opinion when I don’t have anything other than the facts that I have read online to cite would be reckless.
Just a week ago, in a class on Public Relations, my professor touched on the importance of maintaining a level of responsibility and servitude to the community. To me, this means that–especially as a future public relations practitioner (hopefully) or as journalist–any repetition of information should be fact-based. Not yellow journalism, but honest journalism, without the focus on sensationalism and emotions that fill our social media timelines.
Our opinions–with bias inserted from both left and right–cloud the factual reports plastered all over social media and the internet.
Please, for the sake of seeking truth, I urge users of social media on both sides of the political spectrum to stick to the neutral facts that we know – or at least what we trust we know from reliable media sources.