2016 has been a terrible year. Nobody would blame you if you agreed with that statement. From the deaths of Prince, David Bowie and Alan Rickman, to tragedies such as the fall of Aleppo and the shooting in Berlin, this year has been left reeling from bad news.
News has also been an issue in some of the most historic national decisions with international consequences. Naturally, I’m talking about the decision to pass Brexit and the election of Donald Trump as the new President of the United States of America.
In a world in which we believe is more free and liberal than ever before, the rise of the alternative-right is worrisome. The reason we believe the world is free and equal is due to the kind of news that we as ‘millennials” (defined as current 18-35 year-olds) consume on social media.
Many felt that the UK would vote to remain in the EU; even more believed Hillary Clinton would win the presidential election. A lot of this is to do with the kind of pages we Like, the people we engage with, and the filtering of news. News has the power to inform but also to mislead. And some would say the influence of news, as well as its sorrowful reports of tragedy around the world, has been the bane of 2016.
2016 saw the revelation of the Panama Papers, the stepping down of various leaders, the deaths of many icons and a turning point in our free and equal world. It saw the Orlando shooting and the Turkish bombings. Even our very own Hong Kong headlined the news, with stories of our Legco and chief executive elections calling into question the prosperity of our region and how China engages with its neighbours.
It is very important that we keep our heads held high in 2017. Certainly many of the events in 2016 will set the course for the year ahead, and it is likely we’ll be hearing more “bad news” next year. 2016 has been a time to reflect on our ideas of security and prosperity, and while we have come so far as a race, we have a long way yet to go and many roadblocks to confront.