Published on November 16, 2016, at 4:32 p.m.
By Mary Catherine Molay
The 2016 presidential race was one like we have never seen before. There has been media backlash on both sides of the spectrum that have caused, what some may say, horrible press for all.
From Wikileaks to allegedly being a little too “hands on,” the media has had its fair share, whether good or bad, of reporting on both President-elect Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Following Trump’s historic win, there have been protests, riots and beatings all around the country. It’s obvious that some people are unhappy with the outcome of the election; however, one thing that I think people are losing sight of is that if we continue to broadcast negative and hurtful messages on our news outlets, it will only make the problem worse.
Politics aside, such a situation is where aspiring and current PR professionals need to come into play. Regardless of how this election went for us as individuals, it’s our job to give enough accurate information for everyone so that they can make informed decisions. We need to give all sides a chance for their voices to be heard.
Instead of setting the agenda with negative post-election stories, we should be focusing on positive post-election news. That way, we can all work together as a whole to help and mold the minds of our fellow Americans who look to us to educate them.
The video above shows how our country is divided. Airing it could potentially spread hate to younger individuals and teach them that violence is OK. We have to remember that our actions affect those around us.
Let me take you back a few months to the Dallas Police shootings. At the time, there was so much hatred going on and both sides were portraying it differently. Some were praising the acts that were going on, and others were condemning them. I am not the one to judge someone for his or her opinions as the First Amendment gives us the right to speak freely. On the contrary, I do think it is best that we give equal airtime to all of the causes, not just the ones that will allow for higher TV ratings.
I watched a video the other day when a mutual friend on Facebook shared it. This video shows people coming together during the Dallas Police controversy. It shows opposing groups pausing their protests, meeting in the middle, forgiving and wanting to end the violence so that they can work together. When I went to search for this video on the Internet to use it in this blog post, I was not able to find it. It was buried under negative videos. I had to go back into Facebook and look at my likes to find the video, and then search for it online by typing in the name of the article.
As PR practitioners, we need to make sure that we have the resources available not only to find the attention-grabbing stories that are happening, but we also need to actively search for the stories that are not as easy to locate. By doing so, maybe we can do our part to help diffuse this argument that has gone way out of control.
We need to be promoting peace, not hate. Even though the second video I referenced was from July 2016, it shouldn’t be pushed out of sight by negative riots. When we can figure out a way to promote positive stories, the country will start to reflect the individuals in the video I “liked” on Facebook. We will become one.