In the current state of the world with the ease of access to information, people should be more informed. However, in reality the general public has become more misinformed than ever before. When newspapers first came about they were focused on being a public service and informing the population of what’s going on in the world and their communities.
News outlets and the online media both tend to focus on the negative side of news. Politics aren’t particularly negative, so news wouldn’t be front page. This idea has been around for a long time, starting in the 80s during the Cold War. More negative news would surface because of the political pressure that comes with the Cold War. This idea has stuck for a long time and news outlets are getting more traction than ever.
People from other countries think people in the U.S. are not politically aware. You can even go as far as to say people from other countries think Americans are dumb when it comes to current events in general. News outlets write stories about “breaking news” primarily regarding celebrity relationship statuses or over-hyping some product, which draws attention away from actual breaking news that affects others.
When it comes down to it, people in the U.S. have varying political awareness. Some have a lot of knowledge, like knowing exactly what’s going on in an election or even understanding more complex topics like a political party’s ideology.
Others may not even know if they fall under a political party. There is plenty of evidence of this happening around the U.S., but focusing on the local situation is the best evidence that is available.
“I’ve heard of the big ideas but I do not keep up with the little things at all,” said senior Charlotte Pohl.
There are a slew of reasons explaining why so many people in the U.S. don’t care for politics. Usually the topic is just perceived as boring or not enjoyable to watch. This may have to do with the rising mentality that Americans have to be entertained at every moment they aren’t busy. Politics don’t exactly cover the aspect of entertainment. They often come off as a serious and depressing topic.
There are a lot of students that have opinions on the lack of political knowledge.
“I think that because we have a two party system, not everyone feels like they can identify with a party,” said senior Nathan Burgard. “Where in other countries there’s a ton of parties with a variety of views.”
The U.S. is definitely not the most politically unaware country, but our image can be perceived as that due to the plethora of articles being written about seemingly unimportant topics when more relevant things relating to the world and well-being of our country are happening all the time, yet they don’t get as much coverage because politics can be seen as “boring” or “uninteresting.”