For many it’s the first time; for everyone it is hectic. On the eve of the most important day of our intern lives, the entire HOMTV office is abuzz with laborious preparation for tomorrow’s Election Day coverage. Reporters are honing their on-camera interviewing, the production team is readying the studio, and the social media crew is finalizing their research.
I used the metaphor last week about watching the tide recede before the wave comes crashing into the shoreline, and attributing it to the feeling many of the interns had as Election Day drew closer. At the time it was true; now it is real. There are jitters, there is excitement, but now, mostly there is focus.
Focus in the respect that we are becoming increasingly aware of our responsibility, which may seem hokie. But, in a time when information is everywhere and no one is informed, and everyone is upset with their government but hardly anyone votes, how does a group college interns and government access channel staff fight the tide of political cynicism on what may be the next great informational medium (television) to die out?
“The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”
Winston Churchill, one the most prolific champions of liberty in the last century, is responsible for that opinion. What he means by this, is that average voter is usually so uninformed, misinformed, or just blatantly ignorant that we may all just be better off trying our luck with fascism. Agreeing with this is not pessimism, it is to face an ugly reality. But this is where HOMTV’s responsibility comes in.
Our duty is not just report and recant. Our duty is to use our platform to the optimum of it’s potential to charge the average citizen with simply doing their part.
“The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment.”
-Robert M. Hutchins
We, HOMTV, will not be apathetic. We will not be indifferent. It is out job to do nothing less than set everything out on the table for you. But in the end, it is up to you. For you to inform yourself, and for you to vote.
To make democracy work, we must be a nation of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.
So watch if you want to, vote if you so desire, or act indifferent to this bi-annual privilege. But you no longer have any excuse of being uninformed, because we will be working.