Media attention amplifies mystery

John Schmidt Web Editor


 I’ve been following the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 story since the plane first disappeared. Since March 8, I’ve read at least two stories and countless tweets regarding the modern mystery that has yet to be solved. 

A lot of theories have been spawned regarding the disappearance. Clive Irving of The Daily Beast theorizes that MAF370 was struck in a central nerve and turned into a zombie plane and that no one had control over the $261 million aircraft. Courtney Love thought she found the plane, she posted a tweet of the picture of blue water and what she thought was an oil slick. Also, terrorism, pilots getting incapacitated and the last one I’ll mention (most definitely not the last one in reality) is just flat out bizarre. 

And sadly, the only one we’re aware of is the last one I’ve listed. It’s taken 23 different countries, roughly $44 million spent by the US, Russia, China, Australia and Vietnam and a months time yielding nothing. 

CNN is going nuts about all of this, by the way, and the ratings have been through the roof for them. They’ve thrown journalists in virtual cockpits, had round the clock coverage with press conferences, expert analysts speak on their theories and even had a man stand in a virtual room simulating the tragic incident. And the people are eating it up. They love it. CNN had the highest ratings in the age 25 to 54 from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, March 15. People are in love with this unfortunate mystery. 

This got me thinking about what we love about this event. The mystery of a missing plane in an era where information is so overflowing we’re constantly connected with each other? The fact we live in a world where a device sits in our pocket that can access ALL known information for our reading pleasure and yet we can’t find a multi-million dollar aircraft? For me, I loved how united the world is in the efforts to figure out this mystery. 

This missing plane isn’t just Malaysian Airlines problem, it’s the world’s problem and thankfully we’ve approached it as such. Bangladesh, Japan, South Korea, The United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates are just a few that had zero passengers of their respective nationalities on board MAF370. There could be a lot of speculation as to why these countries are helping, but the only why I honestly care about in this event is that they’re doing it because it’s the right thing. 

From what I gathered, they’re not doing this in an attempt to further their agendas, or for profit, but because it’s just objectively the right thing. In a world where we’re caught up with our own personal success, and ourselves it’s honestly beautiful to see people do what they can to help people they have never even met before. The bulk of us will just sit around and inhale the information as it becomes available (which is fine, I’m not doing anything to help find it either), but the rest of us will go and spend hour after hour searching for answers. If even the leads are small, this search will continue as long as the human spirit burns.

John Schmidt is majoring in journalism. He can be reached at [email protected].