What happened to Elizabeth Smart? Who killed Chandra Levy? Are forest fires still raging in Colorado? Today there’s no mention of them anywhere in news media. These dramatic tales have no resolution.

Recently the coverage of national news has decayed into full-time coverage of only the single most recent, dramatic issue. The reason we don’t know what happened to Chandra Levy and Elizabeth Smart is because the resolutions of incidents often aren’t dramatic or interesting, and so the media moves on to something with more sensational value.

The sniper that has been preying on the Washington, D.C. area is a good example. Television and print news are saturated with the play-by-play of events as they unfold, speculations of the killer’s motives, next moves and what type of ammunition is being used. I’m not belittling the sniper’s effect on the lives of D.C area residents, and it is an important issue that should be discussed in the media. But discussion does not mean obsession, and there are other issues that are important to American people.

Citizens should know about the president’s plan of action in Iraq. Our economy is still weak. The media should take the time to address these issues that are of huge significance to American citizens.

International coverage has long been a weakness of American media, and many national papers are now closing their international bureaus, and leaving world reporting to the Associated Press and Reuters.

Just because we don’t read about it in the Sunday paper doesn’t mean important things aren’t happening in the world. The AIDS epidemic is still raging in Africa, North Korea is developing nuclear capablities and a group of armed men took over a theater in Moscow to hold 700 people hostage on Wednesday. National leaders in nations like Germany are proclaiming anti-American sentiments.

All of these events have social, political and economic impacts on the United States, but often stories about these issues are buried deep in the newspaper or warrant only a quick mention on a nightly news. American news sources can’t afford to ignore international issues, because our nation can’t afford to be ignorant of issues that will affect us.

As a journalist, I believe in the power of the press and know the influence it has over public opinion. The power of being a distributor of information also comes with a responsibility, and that responsibility is to wisely choose news stories based on their relevance, not sensational value.

Individual citizens depend on the media to provide them with information about the world around them, and this is a request that needs to be taken seriously.

DeSantis can be reached at kdesantis@campustimes.org.



UR Baseball beats Hamilton and RIT

Yellowjackets baseball beat Hamilton College on Tuesday and RIT on Friday to the scores of 11–4 and 7–4, respectively.

Time unfortunately still a circle

Ever since the invention of the wheel, humanity’s been blessed with one terrible curse: the realization that all things are, in fact, cyclical.

Notes by Nadia: The myth of summer vacation

Summer vacation is no longer a vacation.