July 19, 2012 by Alex Hoekstra
I seldom pay attention to mass media news. Cable news broadcasts, newspapers, most radio, and even major news sites scream headlines without my noticing. I can’t say for sure whether in the scheme of things, that’s for better or worse, but I’ve never felt particularly uninformed. Since being introduced to Google Reader, I’ve been picking and choosing what I read (or at least skim over). It narrows my gaze to be sure – I might never, ever know who Justin Beiber is dating or how long until Snookie’s baby is born…nor might I know where Mitt Romney stands on the crisis in Syria, but I don’t consider that something particularly worthy time in my day or memory in my head. I’m wary of the risk I take by limiting my information intake, but the other hand, being a choosy reader allows me to spend that time and memory – spared from mass-marketed media – on things that I find interesting, relevant, funny or inspirational. There are surely things in the world I’m not aware of, and perhaps I’ll be criticized for not knowing how many were slaughtered or why, but until there’s something I can do about it (I mean really do about it), I’m not sure how knowing every story would change my life for the better.
There’s a lot to be said for news – or at least, what news ought to be. An informed population is a capable and secure population, if not a more understanding, empathetic, cooperative and peaceful one. Probably a more engaged one, too. The trouble, though, is that news isn’t really what it ought to be, and I think supporting the notion that we are in fact an accurately-informed population of news watchers, listeners and readers. I’d go so far as to say that most people feel like observers, passively consuming finished goods coming out of the TV or off of the newsprint, unable to influence much of what’s going on. That’s a shame, because I think if we spent just a little time and energy focusing on how things could be, rather than all of our attention being so fixated on basically the worst that the recent past, present, and short-term future have to offer, we’d be more inclined to reach out and touch the world. With a longer view, more seems possible, and so more seems worth trying – worth doing. Maybe more will get done. Maybe if we all walked around seeing headlines that provoked ideas of what could be, knowing that the story hasn’t been fully written yet, maybe we’ll start picking up our pens and writing a chapter or two of our own. Today’s project comes from such a world of tomorrow.
Tomorrow Magazine is the last hurrah of a bunch of writers and journalists in exodus from the mainstream media. Together, they’re collaborating to bring attention to what’s coming up next in the world – what’s happening now and what it might mean for us tomorrow.
Tomorrow is about (and for) the people who are working out what’s next. Today’s dilemmas deserve fresh eyes liberated from the tired status quo of superficial journalism, boring narratives, and old ideas about what works. We’ll take a look around the corner to bring you stories about the people, the movements, and the trends that are tearing the world down and building it anew.
Hopefully this hurrah or mindful journalism won’t actually be the last. The team is committed to at least one issue, but perhaps with enough support from enough attentive, thoughtful, inspired and engaged readers (and contributors), there will be more of this far-sighted reporting in the days after tomorrow. Let’s make those days together by backing Tomorrow on Kickstarter before July 25.