Like many, I have spent the morning glued to the tele watching Schapelle Corby’s release from Kerobokan prison in Bali.
I will leave the who, what, when, where, why commentary for the experts but what I’m amazed by is the number of people stating on social media and websites that they ‘just don’t care’. The anger and hatred aimed at Schapelle and her family is ugly at best and whilst everyone is entitled to their opinion, it’s the haters that are also stating they ‘simply don’t care’. If you don’t care, don’t comment. However……
No one is asking anyone to ‘care’. No one is asking you to empathise with her plight and no one is telling you that she is an innocent woman finally freed from bad ass Indonesians. No, news networks are reporting the NEWS. And people, NEWS is important. News is history and history is important as without history, how would we learn lessons from the past. You don’t need to ‘like’ the news. You don’t need to ‘care’ about the news but you do need to take notice of the news. News educates us, keeps us informed outside the bubble of our own lives. If the news didn’t report information on politics, poverty, famine, murders and fluffy white kittens how on earth would we know anything?
There is an entire generation of kids who now check Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram before they check a news site each morning and I am grateful to the creators of those platforms that they found a way to integrate news into the kids newsfeeds otherwise we’d be raising uneducated idiots (and THEY would then be leading us into retirement – erk).
I can recall very vividly being sat down by my year 8 history teacher when was Nelson Mandela was freed and being taught the importance of that historic moment. Fortunately for me, 4 years earlier, my year 5 teacher, Mrs Lacey also had our class sit down and watch the children’s program Behind the News (BTN) each week where a story about a campaign to have a man called Nelson Mandela freed was reported. We learnt so much about arpartheid and South Africa from that one story. Both moments are ingrained in my memory forever. I’m in no way comparing Schapelle to Mandela. What I am comparing is the importance of news and reporting historic moments in the present so that it becomes an important part of the past. Google can’t solve everything. Sometimes we need to be able to recall, teach and learn from those moments in person when our kids say ‘why are drugs bad Mum?’.
Schapelle’s plight, guilty or not is one that we all must talk to our kids about. Not tomorrow. TODAY. Put the news on tonight and if they are in Primary school this is a moment we need to teach them about. They need to be taught how to pack their own bags and guard them carefully, how drug smuggling can lead to incarceration in foreign countries and that DRUGS ARE BAD. They need to be able to recall today so that if someone asks them to carry a bag overseas for them, they know WHY they need to say no. Talk to your friends, family and kids about today. Not for the media spectacle that it is or is about to become but for the newsworthy nature of how Shapelle ended up in this position.
To turn off the news and ignore the story is arrogant and ignorant.