Today some of our team members are discussing social issues that they believe do not get enough media attention, and what we can do to change that!
Emily Rose Thorne: The first thing that comes to mind here is mental health. Many people who live with mental illnesses cite stigmatization and lack of conversation surrounding the topic as some of their biggest barriers to recovery. Media, too, contributes to the isolation and misrepresentation of those with mental illnesses through inaccurate, incomplete or glamorized depictions (such as those in 13 Reasons Why, To The Bone and The Roads Within). One step I have taken - and would encourage others to take if this is an issue that speaks to them - is avoiding and speaking out about media that fails to represent mental illness constructively, while supporting those that do. I also try to read and listening to personal accounts from people living with mental illness, such as essays on The Mighty, books like Roxane Gay's "Hunger," or just friends who want to open up to me. I'm also constantly working to remove language from my vocabulary that perpetuates negative views of mental illness as well as educating myself on illnesses that I might not have experience with, especially when I know that only one image or perspective of a particular disorder is commonly perceived as the reality.
Leslie Marsh: I feel that the topic of creating an inclusive society for people with special needs is an issue that has not been appropriately addressed in the media. No matter who you are and what your capabilities may be, it's only fair that everyone is treated equally. It's devastating to see how our world typically only caters to those who are able-bodied and neuro-typical, as a large percentage of our society has other needs that need to be met in order to live a normal lifestyle. In order to create change, you can spread awareness, and you can write letters to your senators and congresspeople, protesting a change in the way our government handles this issue.
Jackie Garcia: I believe that sexual assault, abuse and misconduct are receiving media attention but still not enough because nothing has been done about it yet. We need to continue pressing and fighting for an end to this social issue so that our society can change for the better.
Pankhuri Kumar: Intensive animal farming is a cause that doesn't get enough attention in the media. Being a non-vegetarian myself, I know how tough it can be to take a serious stand against the issue, but it's important that the meat we consume comes from the humane treatment of the animals. We continue to allow mistreatment and illegal animal farming to take place since it makes meat cheap. One of the easiest ways to combat this is to reduce our meat consumption. Even the simple act of eating meat only once a day, or ensuring you buy meat from local farms whose practices you are aware of, can make a difference.
Linda Tran: I personally think gender issues/equality isn't talked about enough on the media. Yes, we talk about women's rights but often times, the media fails to realize that women are treated differently from men, that women get paid differently from men, that women don't get the same opportunities as men. I know actresses like Viola Davis have been speaking out about it, but I think it should be talked about more. I think the only way to move forward to help the cause is to speak up about it whether it's in your own office, in your own home, at the mall, etc. If you see a woman being treated differently because she's a woman, then you should speak up about it. When one person speaks up about an issue, it causes a chain reaction and influences others to speak up too.