As part of the University at Buffalo’s International Education Week, I gave a keynote address about what’s happening in the media world today — what we’re losing, what we’re gaining, and what the students ought to do about it. I urged the students to “seize the opportunity to make contributions. And take responsibility for the contributions you make.”
Here is the text:
University at Buffalo, International Education week, November 2015
“The Media Revolution: What It Means for You”
It’s a pleasure for me to be here as part of International Education Week. And I’m especially delighted that you have made media your focus. Nothing could be more essential to an understanding of this fast-globalizing world than media.
You know, we say that we are what we eat. More generally, we are what we consume. And that surely goes for media. Our media diet, like our food diet, shapes us every day – for good and for ill. If we select wisely, we nourish ourselves and contribute to good health. If we choose junk, we pay for it. Moreover, our society pays for it. Just as the nation’s health and economy are affected when people eat poorly, our democracy is undermined when people fail to nourish their understanding of the world around them. A government of the people, by the people and for the people is only as good as the thinking and participation OF the people. A democracy of know-nothings will get what it deserves: poor public policy, an inability to progress, a loss of international standing. You, individually, are part of the recipe for good health – for yourself, and for the society of which you are a part.