I spend a decent amount of time on the Internet; that when my husband asked me the other day if I knew anything about the drought in California I felt ashamed, I did not know what he was talking about. I had not heard or read anything online about a drought in California. After doing some research on the Internet I came across a simple photo blog from mothernaturenetwork.com, which demonstrated several photo comparisons of water levels since 2011 and 2014. The images are astounding it is no wonder why I hear so many people alarmed and complaining about the ALS challenge which raises awareness and contributions for the many people who suffer from this disease also known as the “Lou Gehrig’s Disease” by challenging people to pour ice cold water over their heads. In the LA Times article, two men are described to have taken the ice bucket challenge but modified it in a way to also raise awareness for this severe drought we are facing by instead pouring dirt over their heads. Clever.
More on this drought, in CA.gov they published a short article informing the public that Conan O’Brien a talk show host and comedian was uniting forces with the state’s “save our water campaign” and NRDC to inspire citizens to conserve more water. Below is the first PSA that was released:
The known talk show host and comedian tries to humor you while still making you more aware that water needs to be saved.
I found the short article and humorous video very interesting because it was very straightforward in combining the two issues at hand – the severe drought in California we are all facing, while still respecting and raising awareness for a very difficult disease. However, I find it very interesting how the media has quickly worked its way to push towards this national movement in raising awareness for ALS and not a lot has been discussed or done regarding the severe drought we are facing in California. Conan amongst other influential people are now being more water and media savvy and letting the power of media and commercials show us just how serious this issue is and how it affects many people just as much as ALS.
Sometimes the media goes for the more uplifting story rather than talk about an issue that affects the public. This is a good opportunity to think through Dan Hallin’s distinction between public service journalism and journalism that is more interested in attracting readers.