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Blogging Site Vox is Helping Save Our Democracy

by on December 25, 2015

According to the American Press Institute, the more democratic a society, the more news and information it tends to have. When evaluating the United States’ democracy, there are two conclusions I reach from this.

My first takeaway is that citizens are not informed enough by news networks. This becomes an issue when citizens rely merely on these networks, as the information presented is backed by corporate interest and is often biased. Citizens who don’t seek news from any sources outside of watching televised news networks or reading newspapers are missing a certain perspective. This missing perspective is what corporations don’t want you, the reader to know.

Based on internet news services who go beyond presenting the news, my second takeaway from the API’s statement is that democracy still exists in the United States.

Vox is a great example of this; a blogging site that serves for the people. When using Google to search Vox, their tagline listed underneath the link to their website literally mentions that their mission is “explaining the news.” What Vox often does that has democratic influence is filling people in on the questions they may have regarding important subjects, yet may not know the answer.

Take for example the Baltimore riots. Through nine separate stories, Vox breaks down the purpose of the protests, the story of Freddie Gray’s death, and Baltimore’s history regarding police brutality. They also break down flaws in Baltimore’s criminal justice system. Instead of simply pointing out that the police are at fault, Vox gives a complete background to the story.

Similarly, there is a page on Vox entitled, “18 things (articles) about ISIS you need to know,” giving a history to ISIS’s existence. They published an article on November 23, 2015 literally titled, “9 questions about ISIS you were too embarrassed to ask.”A better title would have been “9 questions about ISIS the television news network fail to completely address.”

Readership levels have been trending down in recent years for newspaper establishments. Despite this they still receive more publicity than a blogging site such as Vox. It’s a shame that Vox isn’t nearly as nationally renowned as television news networks and newspapers

It irks me when I log onto Facebook and constantly see people post ignorant comments about Muslims, demonstrating “Islamophobia”. It’s clear that they lack requisite knowledge of Muslims to make such bold assertions.

For some reason these people’s flawed ideologies resonate with Trump’s preposterous notions about Muslims. On December 22, 2015, Vox presented a history of Islam in America. For all of the ignorant Americans who exhibit Islamophobia, this article is extremely insightful. The story goes all the way back to the 1700s, noting how an article in the constitution granted the political freedom to people of all religion, and how Thomas Jefferson campaigned for the religious freedom of Jews and Muslims. If more popular news establishments produced articles like this, it’s conceivable our nation would comprise a more efficient democracy, with a higher portion of people who are educated on our most pressing topics.

Reflecting a fair assessment of our news system, the United States does have an existing democracy, albeit it is a particularly flawed one. For now, we’ll have to live with blogging sites such as Vox serving as our candid democracy.

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