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Bringing Attention to Social Issues Through TV Programming

by Andrew

Posted on May 20, 2011

DISH Systems Essay Scholarship Oprah recently launched the “OWN” network with original programming designed to entertain, inform, and inspire. If you were the executive of a TV network, what kind of programming would you create? In our world today it seems that many people have a limited perspective concerning issues facing our society. People seem to close their minds to the opinions of others and only support the opinions that have some potential benefit for them. If I were the executive of a television network, I would utilize my position to reach out to our society and spread the little-known, undervalued opinions of people who matter. Since the seventh grade, I have taken Spanish classes and become immersed in the Hispanic culture through my knowledge of the language. Because of this, I have become increasingly aware of issues facing Hispanic immigrants in the United States. My mother works with the children of illegal immigrants through her work as a Speech Language Pathology Assistant. Through her work, I have come to know many special children and families in need of a hand up, not a hand out. Many people in the United States view the immigrants in our nation as “leaches," desiring to suck the nation clean of its financial benefits and opportunities. However, these are real people, with real hopes and dreams for a better life. If I was able to, I would show the rest of the world this viewpoint, through the stories and opinions of immigrants in our nation, on a television screen. This area has become one of my passions, and I would certainly hope that the people of the United States would gain a better understanding of these people, and why they have come to the "land of the free." Additionally, I would like to open the eyes of our society to the little-known hardships facing various groups of people today. I would like to educate the public on the struggle of my tribe, the Lumbee Indians, in their attempts to gain federal recognition. I would like people to recognize the poverty faced by homeless Americans, the effects of human trafficking, and the issues facing teens in our schools today. So few people recognize the importance that these topics hold for thousands of people, yet they continue to plague the lives of individuals on a daily basis. While many people would still hold their own unchanging opinions on these topics, it would be my hope that this network would influence and inspire others to make our nation, and world as a whole, a better place for generations to come. There is no excuse for ignorance. We cannot possibly tackle the issues facing out world if its citizens are not aware of both sides of the story. I believe that television provides us with a wonderful opportunity to reach out to people who wouldn’t listen any other way. Although it is easy to change the channel at any moment, it is impossible to erase the lives impacted by these issues and the effects it will have on our society in the years to come. While few will have the opportunities to become television executives, we all have the ability to utilize our knowledge and skills for the betterment of our society. *This essay was written by Chelsea B., a runner-up in the DISH Systems Scholarship Essay Contest. The opinions of the author do not reflect the opinions of DISH Systems, authorized retailer of DISH Network.