The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Media to blame for apolitical students

Ever since the United States lost its 2,000th soldier in Iraq, I have heard a lot of questioning from my liberal family. A lot of my family members and a lot of other liberal southern California residents question why college students are not demonstrating like folks were during the Vietnam era.

There are a variety of reasons for this and it has nothing to do with college students today do not care. But a reason is that college students today are busier than college students were in that era.

College is more expensive today than it was back then and the majority of college students have to work to pay for it. I work over 30 hours a week, take 15 units a semester and write for the Sundial. I am busy but in no way do I think I am even in the upper percentage in being busy as a college student. I know students that work and go to school on a full-time basis who commute. Yet, this is no excuse for being uninformed about the whole political system.

The college system is designed to teach students how to think for themselves to make up their own minds without the influence of their parents. The voting process, however, makes it difficult for students to vote. Either the student has to go home on Election Day which is on a Tuesday (for some that is impossible), or they have to have an absentee ballot mailed to their school address from their home. Reregistering for school makes no sense because your address will most likely change too often.

An idea would be to let students vote at school. It would not be difficult to have the students have a temporary registration at CSUN and set up booths or have absentee ballots that can be used at school.

But I believe the biggest reason young people do not seem to care as much as college students did during Vietnam is the media.

Now when I say the media, I am not saying the individuals of the press. I think members of the press are some of the hardest working people on earth. I blame the conglomerates who own the media outlets, which are not willing to risk their good reputation to uncover a story that may be disturbing. I still believe CBS told the truth about the story of Bush deserting the National Guard and said otherwise because of the heat they were getting from the administration.

Yes people, I will blame the media for one thing, not everything like some people do, but one thing. The media has not done its job in reporting on the soldiers who are dying in Iraq. It is not all the media’s fault; the Bush administration refused to allow pictures of soldiers’ coffins coming back from Iraq. Unlike during Vietnam, where cameras showed pictures on a daily basis of the coffins, which created more emotion, the news today reads off the number of those killed. It is still a devastating statistic, but it does not stir the same amount of emotion.

Some would argue that the reason people are not protesting like they did during Vietnam is because of the number amount killed. Vietnam had over 50,000 soldiers killed, not to mention the countless of innocent victims that were killed. That amount is the reason some would say that the demonstrations were taking place during the Vietnam era.

Others would argue that the war in the case of Iraq is necessary because of what happened on the Sept. 11 2001 terror attacks. I am here to say, however, and I know I am not the only one, that Iraq had nothing to do with the terror attacks. It has been proven, according to the 9-11 Commission. They similarly disproved the argument for nuclear weapons, which they said Saddam Hussein was trying to obtain them. The United States has been in Iraq for almost three years and still has not found any weapons. The weapons do not exist and do not let the administration tell you otherwise. If they did, we would have found them or some evidence of them by now. If we magically find some soon, I would not be surprised if we planted them there. Don’t you find it a little interesting that every time Bush’s poll ratings go down, there is another terrorist warning?

In this time of big business, there still is media out there that is dependable, but it is mostly the alternative media. Alternative media is not controlled by corporate interest. The mainstream media will usually not go after a story that could be devastating, such as taking pictures of the coffins coming back from Iraq. But we need some media giants to take a step back and think about the best interests of the country. To quote Courtney Cox from Scream 2, “we are not here to make friends.”

Justin Satzman is a junior Broadcast Journalism major.

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