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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Let’s focus on what really matters

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Our society has so many pertinent issues to deal with, that I question some of the topics of discussion that seem to become top stories with various media outlets throughout the country.

One such topic is homosexuality. It’s a topic that is not only ultra-sensitive to many, but also a bit difficult to discuss. Quite simply, it’s tricky. Some people think it’s morally wrong, some feel it’s a lifestyle choice and others believe people are born homosexual.

Whether I support homosexuality or not really isn’t the point. The point is however, the outrageous need to focus so much attention on what goes on behind others’ closed doors.

As I watch the news or search the Internet, I constantly see coverage of celebrity homosexuals, this person admitting to being gay, or even “reports” of people who the media thinks are gay, yet the individuals haven’t come out of the closet yet.

I know one thing for certain, this isn’t the type of subject my journalism professors deemed newsworthy. Nor is it something that was the hot news item a decade ago.

Why is there so much focus on whether someone is a homosexual or not?

Who a person sleeps with at their own discretion has absolutely nothing to do with how you and I live our individual lives. It doesn’t matter if that person is sleeping with someone of the same or opposite sex – their actions have no bearing on my life. It’s their business. Much of the homosexual ado is severely overblown by the media.

Don’t get me wrong, there are aspects of homosexuality that garner media coverage, such as whether to allow civil unions, which will provide people access to their partner’s insurance coverage among other benefits; but anything less significant shouldn’t be given such attention.

There’s one thing that we were always taught to avoid in journalism school: sensationalizing. Merriam-Webster describes the word as “a quick, intense, and usually superficial interest, curiosity, or emotional reaction (i.e. tabloid news).”

As someone who holds true to the teachings I learned in school, it’s disturbing to see how far removed from real news my industry has become. Not only does it illustrate the depths we’d go to increase ratings or circulation, but it also says a lot about today’s society.

If people didn’t gravitate to such topics (I simply can’t call it news), media wouldn’t publicize it as much. Many in this society have become complacent with settling for gossip as real news.

This is incredibly disturbing given the fact that this country is in a severe economic downturn, HIV/AIDS among other diseases continue to disproportionately affect African-Americans, millions are without adequate health care, crime is increasing and our children aren’t performing to standards.

It would do us all well to regroup and obtain a better understanding of relevancy.

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