2013 Essay Contest - Second Place Winner
By Elizabeth Eason, Lamoni High School, Lamoni, IA
Communication has allowed our civilization to advance rapidly during the past several centuries. The faster communication has gotten, the easier it has become for people to share ideas, discoveries, and works. Instantaneous communication has aided humans in countless ways, from allowing scientists to discuss their findings and advance our knowledge of the world around us, to being able to talk to our loved ones when they are miles away.
Not long after humans realized how vital communication is, local news and the media became a part of everyday life. Newspapers spread revolutionary ideas among citizens of the original thirteen colonies, so media was a major factor in the founding of our nation. Being informed as a citizen is an invaluable privilege that media has provided. Local news organizations have also given small businesses a way to advertise and citizens a way to learn more about their community.
Local news also keeps communities connected. Citizens who want to start new groups or believe their community has a need for something can easily spread the word about their ideas with the help of local news organizations. Citizens have come to rely on local news as a way to find out everything that they need to know about upcoming activities, weather forecasts, and recent events in their community.
Since the creation of the world wide web, there have been numerous advances in technology that have allowed us easy access to the internet and all of the information it holds. From social media sites to electronic mail, the media now has a number of ways to reach citizens who want to know more about the vast world that they suddenly have access to at the press of a button.
So far, I believe the media has utilized its new resources in the digital age very well. Many local news stations now have apps available on iPhones, and they download clips of their shows for people to watch online. Many news organizations also use social media sites like Twitter and Facebook to get news to the public. With Facebook having over 1 billion users, and Twitter over 500 million, the media now has direct access to people all around the globe all the time. Many local television news stations send weather alerts to people who subscribe to them, and in the future they may also send notices of natural disasters or other events that people need to know about immediately.
People have come to rely on local news as a vital communication medium. Local news organizations help people connect with their communities, and the digital age has strengthened this connection. The symbiotic relationship between media and societal advances will continue to thrive as long as the media continues to take advantage of the new ways it has to reach people in the digital age.
Smith, Craig. "[Dec 2012 Update] How Many People Use the Top Social Media?" Digital Market Ramblings. Word Press, 18 Dec 2012. Web. 26 Dec 2012. <http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/resource-how-many-people-use-the-top-social-media/>.
Stephens, Mitchell. "New Media and the American Revolution." Beyond News. Word Press, 13 2011. Web. 26 Dec 2012.