First of all, read this link:
What did you think? My guess is one of the following:
- Sympathy for the family of the dead
- That was an informative breaking news story.
Anything beyond that would probably come because you either knew the person involved or are a moron.
Now let me show you the social media outrage at this story—a story that a newspaper 100 percent should have covered and something most people in the community would want covered:
This is everything that is wrong with society. In one scenario, Mandy Thomas is a grieving family member or friend and is looking to blame someone for this hurt she is having. That is something that happens regularly and is fair. Before social media, someone near her would console her and try and help her through this troubling time.
Now that social media exists, she has causers (trolls who sit online to scream about any cause that will garner them attention. They care not what it is, and they actually are doing nothing to support whatever cause it is outside of posting something online) who pile on, tell her how right she is, and call for someone to be fired and for others to drop their subscriptions.
Social media reality is crazy. In the past, someone screaming on a street corner would be regarded as crazy and ignored or directed to an institute (if they were still funded) to get help.
Now that same crazy person screaming on a street corner is getting attention and told they are right and to scream louder. The examples are plenty.
The only other scenarios for Mandy Thomas acting this way is she is either lashing out about something else she is angry about or she is a crazy person.
I am sick of the media bashing and general dumbassery in our society right now. Calls to cancel your subscription, get an apology, and daring to question what they charge for an obituary (they are business, you know?) is just group think at its worst.
The media, newspapers mostly, are the only thing between you and a government that does whatever they want whenever they want. Newspapers cover council meetings, school boards, and these accidents to inform the public on things they should know about.
Do people care that a young person died on a motorcycle in Lawrence? Of course they do. Engaged community members might have known the person, watched him play football, or bought something from him during a fundraiser.
Newspapers cover accidents, not because “if it bleeds it leads,” but because they are something people want to know about and readers/engaged citizens (they are one in the same) care about their community and the people in it.
Unfortunately, this type of social media outrage about nothing is hurting the very institution that is here to protect its community. Every time a “Mandy Thomas and her grieving band of idiots” goes viral, business owners question if they should advertise in something that has so many people upset.
They ignore the fact that even the upset people have their eyeballs on the story, but regardless, they question it because maybe they know Mandy Thomas, and most of the time she is a rational human who they like. If she is outraged, why am I not outraged?
This is just an example. There are millions more if you look around.
Do I hate Mandy Thomas and the folks commenting? No. I use them as an example of what not to do.
They publicly called for an apology, an explanation, and many others just yelled “Fuck you, LJ-World!” and now I put the spotlight on them, publicly, to see if they can be rational and apologize themselves.
That report was sourced by police, had the facts, and informed the public. If that isn’t what you want out of newspapers and the media, then I am not sure what you do want.