The media industry argues that it is not their job to raise our children and that they are just supplying what the market demands. This is the same logic that used pimps and drug dealers. The difference is that, unlike those guys, the media does have a social contract. The license to exploit the public airwaves requires them to provide a service that improves communities and advances culture. Sadly, corporations have been gradually gaining the same rights granted to individuals, while doing all they can to avoid acquiring the same responsabilities. Maybe it’s time we hold them, and the governments that regulate them, to a higher standard.
Now, we may not have our own lobbying group or powerful government connections, but we still own our attention. The media conglomerates value it in the billions, yet we willing give it away. We criticize corrupt and irresponsible corporations, yet we keep rewarding them with our attention. Let’s start valuing it as much as they do and use it to support a more constructive and diverse media environment. Let’s be more selective and give it to those producing content that elevates our consciousness instead of polluting it. Even better, give your attention to those who appreciate it as more than a commercial asset. Give it to your family, friends, teachers and neighbors. Give it to a stranger in need, to your elders who have a lifetime to offer, or to a child and learn something new.