The State Of The Nation – Or The Nation In A State?


America: No Longer Clueless

A massive shift towards more conscious living is taking place all over the world. This is true for America also. The rest of the world subscribes to a common misconception that everyday Americans are largely ignorant about the state of current affairs in the country and in the world. The main reason behind this kind of thinking?

If you could just sit back, relax, and have everything taken care of for you, wouldn’t you, too? The United States is commonly viewed as being the land of milk and honey, and its citizens, the clueless and fortunate beneficiaries.

Admittedly, there was a time when this was true. At least, it was more true that what it is today. Life was peaceful, for most in anyway, and it was very much possible to live in a protected bubble of ignorance. In many ways, our need for a global consciousness evolved with the age of the Internet. And the more informed we became, the more informed we wanted to become.

Current Is Current for A Reason

The fact of the matter is: whether we like it or not, current affairs affect our daily lives. This is true whether we live in a small American town or in a large international city. Still, despite the ease of access that we now have to round-the-clock news sites and affordable cable television, most Americans aren’t all that more clued up about the state of the nation than the upstanding citizens of roughly 20 years ago.

A recent poll indicates that the digital revolution has not done much for us in the way of making us more aware of our political surroundings.

Whether we aren’t really paying attention because we don’t have the time or whether we’re just not interested is a matter for public opinion, but the fact is that today, fewer of us are able to correctly name our governors, our vice president or even the president of Russia, than the Americans of 20 years ago.

A Format Revolution

The interesting bit is that the poll clearly indicates that changing news formats are not having all that much of an influence on exactly how much the American public knows about current affairs.

Whilst it’s true that there are huge differences in the levels of knowledge held by the audiences of different types of news outlets, there doesn’t seem to be any clear connection between specific news formats and what audiences know.

Well-informed audiences are those who regularly check in on cable news channels, major newspaper sites on the Internet, broadcast television, and radio.

The less informed audiences make use of the same means of information but tend to stick to for instance blogs instead of news articles, opinion talk shows instead of shows where someone actually reports the news.

Be that as it may, a truly positive shift in the way that we think about current affairs is without a doubt underway.

We are no longer satisfied to live in protected bubbles of driving our kids to school, playing online bingo, and making the odd donation to a local church charity. We want to know more because we are eager to learn where we can make a difference.

Even if it’s just in our own small way.