During a public hearing concerning the proposal to build a community development center, some people in attendance voiced frustration at the fact that many people still don’t know the basics about the proposal.
There were several ideas proposed, but honestly the effort to educate people about the community development center has fallen victim to a much larger societal problem.
Too often people feel that if something doesn’t come across their Facebook feed, that it’s unimportant or that someone isn’t doing their job.
The fact is that people often assume that their interactions with social media somehow make them informed about their community. The truth of the matter is very different.
There is no secret to knowing what’s going on in a community. The source of the information remains the same. Social media is a poor substitute for a local newspaper or radio station.
People who want to be informed about their community will seek out information that goes beyond what the algorithms of Facebook give them. Those who get all their news and information on social media are not as informed as they think. In fact, social media is really just a form of entertainment, designed by software engineers to trigger chemical responses in the human brain.
The reality is that even with all the choices out there for media consumption, there still isn’t a substitute for the local press for knowing what is going on in a community.
Social media is a place that gives everyone a voice, but few are trained to be professional journalists. They are not attending meetings, making follow-up calls, verifying facts and doing the work it takes to give a fair reporting of what is going on in a community.
When people spend their entire media consumption time on social media, they really have no one to blame but themselves when it comes to not being informed about local issues.
The community development center and the details of the proposal have been reported in The Richfield Reaper several times dating back to October 2018.
Different perspectives have been reported, as well as aspects concerning the partnership between the city, county and college. The information is out there and easily accessed.
This isn’t just a problem faced by local issues.
Reading the local newspaper, listening to the local radio, or logging on to their respective websites is far more informative than hoping the needed news will happen to pop up on Facebook.
And yes, if there really isn’t any other way in one’s mind to get informed, you can follow The Reaper on Facebook.