Throughout history, the purpose of media has been not only to inform people, but also to engage them. In the digital era, the possibilities for engagement through media have exploded. In an ever-globalizing world, many digital news outlets are trying to engage their readers with the current state of global affairs. They are writing about global challenges like poverty, injustice, and climate change, hoping that their readers engage with the situation and do something about it. But so far, actual tools for engagement are limited to raising awareness and signing petitions, which turn out to be ineffective in solving the global challenges of our time.
The underlying problem is that it takes more than petitions to tackle the challenges of our time; the main effort lies in actual implementation of interventions on the ground. This should not be done by news consumers, but rather by professionals.
This does not, however, mean that news consumers are destined to remain totally sidelined. Several respected international organisations, including the UN, point out that the funding gap to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) could be bridged by private donations. News consumers can thus contribute by donating to charitable organisations, thereby enabling professionals to do their job and make the world a better place.