Thursday, January 13, 2011

It's A Small World Over Here.

I know, I know, a lot of you are now singing that annoyingly repetitious Disney song that burrows into your brain like a steroid taking weevil that loves to burrow, deeply.

I just wanted to link this post to the previous one and I really wanted to use the full title of that Disney tune but as I'd already used it as a blog post title back in April, I've edited it slightly here - which actually makes it more appropriate.


Ok in my last post I suggested that many people, even within this country, admit that America is insular when it comes to what is happening in the rest of the world. When I comment about this, I'm often left in no doubt that this attitude is totally acceptable and even justified as America is, after all, THE best country in the world so why would its population care what's going on anywhere else. So it not so much an ignorance of world affairs as a 'we don't really care' about world affairs.

Then there is the definition of WORLD over here and that's why I've had to explain that attitude above. When your country IS the world, then many naming anomalies fall into place.

Anomalies like an annual baseball series being called The World Series despite the fact that it's only contested by 2 American teams.

Anomalies like The Superbowl Champions being called World Champions despite the fact that the game is played out by 2 American teams.

You get the idea.

But I put a lot of 'the blame' for this on the media which, after all, is where most of us still get our knowledge about the world. In America, the media has undoubtedly got the ability to educate but doesn't seem to do it. Maybe, in the case of tv, it's again a ratings thing. From 5pm every weekday evening, we get 90 minutes of local news on each of the 3 big national stations, ABC, NBC and CBS. With so many local stations in every state vying for news, stories range from important county decisions to lost pets. Typical local news in fact.

With lots of viewers wanting to learn about their community, there are lots of commercial breaks and so advertising revenues are huge.

Then at 6:30pm all the local stations come together and we get simultaneous news shows that go out to the entire nation. We have the NBC Nightly News, the CBS Evening News and finally, the ABC World News.

Wanting to know more about world news and events, I tuned into the ABC World News and decided to make a note of the stories it broadcast this evening. The devastating floods in Queensland, Australia ? The catastrophic mudslides in Brazil ? Hundreds of lives lost.

Here is a list of the reports on the ABC World News in sequence..........

1) The Tucson shooting.
2) Heavy snowfall affecting all parts of America.
3) Haiti one year on.
4) Sarah Palin.
5) A new US developed test for Down Syndrome.
6) The death of David Nelson, an actor in a US tv show from the 50's and 60's.

And that was it. At least there was ONE report about a country other than America but often even that's not the case.

I love this country. I love the people I've met and the places I've been to.

But 'they' sure don't make it easy to find out what is going on elsewhere. It's an attitude, just not a very healthy one in my opinion.


Lisa said...

The news page seems to evenly divide US and International news:
doesn't it?

As far as the World News program is concerned, I'm sure most countries start out their news programs with local/national news. I could be wrong.

rhymeswithplague said...

If it's world news you're after, try National Public Radio.

rhymeswithplague said...

You haven't lived until you've lived through an entire week of nothing but snow and ice on Atlanta's local newscasts. Is there nothing else going on in the world, people?

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