December 27, 2007

Global Events -- Our Neighborhood, too

How regrettable that it took the death of a charismatic Pakistani leader today to get the U.S. media to pay attention to world events. Beyond coverage of our involvement in the war in Iraq and early campaigning for the U.S. presidency, there really is another world out there.

Continuing strife in Darfur, the growing military might – and pollution – that symbolizes an emerging world power in China, severe human rights violations in much of Latin America…. The list of significant world events seems beyond the reach of American media. Not because they lack the technology, but because the corporate entities that own much of the media lack the will to support coverage beyond their “sales market.” The bottom line reigns supreme.

The circumstances surrounding the suicide bombing that claimed the life of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, 54, will be explored heavily today – and maybe tomorrow – by mainstream U.S. media. Then, short of all-out revolution in Pakistan, the topic will ebb away from media consciousness like the tide rolling back out to sea.

Only with Reuters, Deutsche Welle, BBC, and a few other web sites can we expect much meaningful world news. A few print media in our country – the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal among them – help keep us peripherally informed. Alone among domestic broadcasters, NPR and PBS do a good job of covering the globe. In our neck of the woods, we're thankful for South Dakota Public Broadcasting and Wyoming Public Radio. Their stations provide not only excellent coverage of world events -- they also do the best job of broadcasting state/regional news and features.

Would that we could get others to recognize that we’re a part of global community.

No comments: