- ig•no•rance |ˈignərəns| noun
- lack of knowledge or information
After spending 6 weeks in Israel this past summer, one thing was very apparent: we are an ignorant people! We know very little about what is happening in the world and have no interest in understanding the complex and delicate histories of the people who’s lives we interfere with.
In an attempt to overcome ignorance, I believe I have found a cure: Avoid mainstream media. Not because they’re liberal or conservative, but because their primary motive is to make money. They have a legal obligation to their share holders to put the bottom line before the truth and the public’s interest. As long as that is the case, news will not be delivered based on worthiness1 but on its entertainment value.
Instead, here a few of the news sources I have found extremely insightful:
- Democracy NOW!: though it lacks the luster of the news we’ve become accustomed to, this independent syndicated news program is superior to any I’ve seen. Amy Goodman and crew exercise a kind of journalism that the current generation has not seen.
- Al Jazeera: despite what US media and politicians would have you believe, Al Jazeera is not a terrorist group (or the journalists for the terrorist groups), but instead rivals BBC in number of viewers. Al Jazeera English provides a world perspective on bigger issues, especially those affecting the Middle East.
- OpenCongress.org: Understanding others requires knowing yourself. OpenCongress.org provides great resources for keeping up with what’s happening on the hill.
- The Daily Show: The alternative to ignorance is cynicism and hopeless. Jon Stewart, in embracing that cynicism and hopelessness, has a way of making it all seem not so bad. While the Daily Show’s primary motive is not to tell the truth, but to entertain, it doesn’t try to hide that identity (and there’s even evidence that despite its comedic intentions it is no less substantive).
How do you fight off ignorance?
- "The truth is never sexy, so it’s not an easy sell" Derek Webb