** Not sure if this is the right forum for this but here goes! **
It seems those outside the tech community are missing out on some of the largest issues facing them today.
Every now and then I fulfill the college student's duty to return home for a weekend for free food and visiting the parents. My first night back this weekend and I'm watching the news with my mom. I ask if she has heard of any of the issues that have been big in the tech world lately (SOPA/ACTA, net neutrality, or the patent wars). Surprisingly she hasn't heard of any of these aside from the blackout day protesting SOPA. I say surprisingly not because my parents visit tech sites or have sources of news like Reddit, twitter, etc where these really get noticed. I say surprisingly because my parents are well informed about pretty much everything else. They spend hours watching CNN, MSNBC, and the local news, read books put out by political big names, and my old man has a subscription to the Economist (and probably a few other periodicals). They tend to focus on the political news but keep up very well in most current events. So I was surprised to learn how little they had heard about issues that absolutely DOMINATE the tech world. While this is probably most attributable to the fact that they have no real interest in this world, it also shows how little attention traditional media gives to these stories. While not all the stories that make it big in the tech community are relevant to the general public, many are and have far reaching implications.
As a person who is familiar with net neutrality and its nasty choice of corporate control of a public forum or government oversight over a public forum its pretty frightening to know that the majority of the population doesn't even realize the issue exist. Or take the case of the SOPA controversy. while probably a lot more people could tell you they know of SOPA than net neutrality, it is mainly due to the blackout day. Without that blackout and the wave of public awareness it wouldn't have ever been an issue for most people. People whose freedom on the internet hangs delicately in the balance. We can't have a blackout day for everything. And even if we could it still wouldn't convey the importance of having free access to the internet.
And there is so much more beyond just issues with the internet. The issue of software patents has burst forth into the awareness of the tech community following recent events between Apple, HTC, Motorloa, Microsoft, and other giants. When the word patent is thrown around the general public (myself included until recently) brings to mind physical inventions and designs. Patents on tangible products. Patents used to ward off infringing rivals. Whether its that an idea for something can be patented by a company that has no intentions of producing a product with that idea or its the legalese and broad terms used in software patents to have them cover things far beyond the original intention, it is clear the system needs to be changed. Again a large issue, this time effecting innovation and consumer choice, has gone largely unnoticed.
Its time that traditional news media bring these issues to light for the population. That means more than a brief story at the end of a list on your website that will be found only by those already aware of the issue. Bring these issues to the people they effect: everyone.