Monday, September 12, 2005

i know we got problems

but they're rioting in belfast. firebombs, fights, police raids, and much more. and yet i didn't hear a peep about it. i checked all the major news sites, and only cnn had a headline, and it was down in their world section. of course, it was top story on bbc.

my question is, how do we maintain a bigger perspective while we deal with our own issues? this can apply on both the world and personal levels. please comment.


Adam said...

This is one of those "vague" questions that professors always ask. You could write a 15 page paper on this question.

Are you asking how the media can maintain a bigger perspective? I mean, if no one reports it, then how are we supposed to know that stuff is going on outside of the tiny little world that we live in? Should everyone be responsible for owning a computer with DSL or cable internet and have to read the international news sites with coffee in the morning? Should we have our own personal correspondents in every country that we email back and forth with to get the news there(blogs have allowed for this more recently ie. your Baghdad Burning link)?

I think that up until recently, our knowledge of the world's goings on was limited to just what we saw in the papers and evening news. With the advent of online news sources, blogs, cell phones, and myriad other technologies, we as everyday citizens have been able to delve deeper into these issues. I agree that a world picture is needed to better understand how we fit into humanity, but it is up to the individual to find and filter their own information. If all you listen to is Fox news and Rush Limbaugh, well, your perspective will be a little slanted, and the same thing with NPR and Air America.

Tom said...

I have to agree. It is important that we have world perspective. Although in reality it will be up to individual responsibilty to make that happen. Very often when things aren't "close to home" we aren't as concerned, even though the issues farther away are just as seriouse if not worse.

edluv said...

yeah, i got an email from this guy @ talking about the power of media and our response. their deal is about darfur, sudan. i've sent some emails based from their website to the networks asking for more coverage. anyhow, they point out that when we know, we step up. we when see suffering we empathize and react. (also, a year ago this week pres. bush called what was happening in darfur genocide. anything change? have we intervened?)

anyway, i guess my question circles around the idea of giving attention to the problem at hand, in this case hurricane relief, while still acknowledging what is happening elsewhere, like belfast. what's the balance, or do we maintain a myopic perspective of only hurricane, fema sucks, and iraq? but those things are important too and deserve time.

Adam said...

Do you just want acknowledgement? Would Belfast not be a problem if the US media had given it some more front page attention? I mean, obviously, we've got to deal with our immediate cuts and bruises here in country. As far as I've read, there is no cry for aid from Belfast or Great Britain. I can emphathize with riots, but what reaction do you want from me besides, "That's horrible!"

The Sudan is different because they are pretty much helpless to stop their own suffering and need help. Why we haven't stepped in over there, I don't know. Maybe enlistment is down far enough that we couldn't support so many different fronts in battle. Maybe the U.N. isn't interested in stopping genocide or haven't labeled all those deaths as genocide. I don't know. I suppose I should read some media around here and find out.

edluv said...

i guess with belfast, yes, i am sorta just looking for acknowledgement. not gawking and pointing, but hey, look at this. there were huge riots, police raids on homes, firebombings, injuries to police and civilians, and such.

JPN said...

Perspective is very important as we look at these events around the world. The hurricane victims are complaining about running water, sewage control, etc. that most of the world has never experienced. Our government will come in and bail out these people in some way and the area will be rebuilt, while the tsunamai victims may forever be haunted by their tragedy. I like the point about the Sudan, they cannot help themselves, why won't we step in? It probably woulnd't take that much manpower. aybe this brings about the larger question of what is our duty as the lone superpower around the world? I think we are finding that our resources are limited, but when do we step in? Peronally, I think it comes more from a personal standpoint, educating ourselves as to what the rest of the world is like, building relationships, getting involved in a grass roots level, travelling to places you have a heart for, etc. and then spreading the word (as you have done with Belfast, I had no idea) and supporting in whatever way we feel led. I have experienced the fruits of that in my own life and have found a lot of peace from it.