The Inspiration for Media Watch
Disillusionment can be seen in the following excerpts from then high school students who participated in one of our projects in 1994:
"We cannot see a headline without noticing an irresponsible or immoral act."
Jenni Williams, Freeman High School, Rockford, Washington
"There are many other people in the world that are doing good things, but it seems that the bad things in life seem to be more publicized and emphasized."
Jeremy J. McCord, David Crockett High School, Austin, Texas
"We need to stop splashing out news of the unfairness and cruelty of our world and put more stress on the events that are beneficial to us. We can't ignore our problems but we have to stop focusing on them alone."
Jaime Black, Colby High School, Colby, Kansas
"Examples of irresponsibility can easily be found in government, the media, business, medicine and everyday life. If you dig a little deeper, however, you can also find many good examples of responsibility in all of these areas."
Mara Bergeron, Deer River High School, Deer River, Minnesota
"Believe it or not, America is not all bad. Positive things are happening. People are making an effort to build America up."
Julie Irion, Eureka High School, Eureka, Illinois
"It was much harder to find examples of good thing happening than it was of bad things happening. That is a little bit sad. It shows how dysfunctional our system of government is when there [are] so many examples of situations where people get away with things that common sense tells us [are] definitely not right."
Kenny Curtis, Kiona-Benton High School, Benton City, Washington
"I found throughout the course of my writing that it was very easy to depict examples of irresponsibility, yet it was very hard to find examples of someone making a difference in this society."
Ryan L. Moore, Carbondale High School, Carbondale, Illinois
"I believe if the young people today could see positive things around them they may start to have positive attitudes towards life."
Roxane Wentzel, Marion High School, Marion, South Dakota
"If more people were recognized for being responsible then society might have more people acting responsibly. All types of media should give examples of responsible behavior for others to model, instead of always telling people about the irresponsible behavior of others."
Brian Toon, Lexington High School, Lexington, Illinois
One bright participant used irony. We think you'll enjoy what Lisa Burgess had to say so we've reproduced it here.
But we know that not all kids use drugs and belong to gangs, and relatively few American workers are lazy and unqualified. Everyone knows how hard family members and acquaintances are working. Why then do so many people believe everyone else is uncaring and incompetent?
Media Watch members would discredit this widely held belief by providing local TV, radio and newspapers with examples of good deeds performed in their communities.