The media we consume affects our norms, values, and which problems we care about. Causes that are now internationally known, such as climate change, were unknown, or little-known, before concerted efforts to bring them widespread attention. This suggests that strategic investment in media could have a large impact on both public perception and, cruicually, real progress on important problems.
Many of the default properties of today’s media environment leave something to be desired from the longtermist perspective. Today’s media is extremely scope-insensitive: stories of individual outrage and tragedy are given amounts of airtime similar to stories that affect all of humanity. The small portion of government activity causing partisan outrage receives much greater attention than the more consequential influence our institutions have on the future.
Longview recommends supporting more impartial, truth-seeking media, in service of raising awareness of our cause areas, and in service of promoting a more intelligent public dialogue that features transparent reasoning, economic thinking, and truth-seeking dialogue.