Walls & Bubbles

Jaci Clement
2 min readFeb 23, 2024

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We’re Fractured, Divided & Diminished. Just Like the Media

Photo by Marc Sendra Martorell on Unsplash

For the entirety of human civilization, there’s been a dividing line: The haves over here and, on the other side, the have-nots. Humankind, notable for the need to explore, has discovered yet another way to divide us.

Thanks to our technology-driven society, we now have the knows and the know-nots. What’s interesting is how hard it is to scale the wall to get out of the have-nots camp and into the haves, yet all of us effortlessly jump back and forth between the knows and the know-nots on a daily basis.

For that, thank the media. For our inability to remember anything from more than two hours ago, thank technology.

The thing about 2024 is, it seems to be all about creating walls and bubbles to continue to divide us.

Going into it, we knew the algorithms were working overtime to keep us ensconced in our personal sociopolitical bubbles. But then inflation stepped up to further divide the have-nots from the haves. Add to this mix our remote work lifestyles to lift us ever further away from each other, and what we’re left with is societal nervous breakdown.

It’s up to the news to bridge these divides, to bring us together and create, by whatever measure, a sense of community. In order to do that, the media industry has to stand up and focus on finding common ground. Granted, this is the same industry that is, quite simply, exhausted. And that’s why the current myopia of trying to appeal to niche audiences — where squeaking out additional clicks and profit margins on small and diminishing audience bases — needs to be replaced with perspective, imagination and vision.

CNN is undergoing some major changes by industry standards: changing up programs and people. In the end, that’s simply musical chairs, isn’t it? What we need to be asking is, do we even need a 24-hour news network that fills many of those hours with non-news while waiting for news to happen? Can any news outlet serve a particular agenda, which by its very definition means it’s shunning the masses, and fulfill its duty to inform? Should well-researched journalism be available only to those who can afford to pay for it?

It seems much of the news media has been working very hard to fracture, dissect and diminish. Pretty much describes life in America today, doesn’t it?

It’s time to try something else.

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Jaci Clement

Considered the most influential media scholar in the world today, Jaci Clement has been working for and with news media since the fourth grade.