Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Biased Media or Lazy Readers?

Going about my day I was reading stories about the countries that are experiencing the Jasmine Revolution ripple effect/Arab Spring. I hit upon a few news items that discussed the number of countries impacted. As I looked at this list I began to feel information overload, it is quite a list of countries. Then I thought of the great equalizer of quick information, Wikipedia.
Take a look at that.  Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Syria are the most often referred to but somehow Yemen has stayed off the watch list. So has a Bahrain and I recall protests in China as well. After a bit more searching I came across one opinion for the lack of information on all the other protests. It was biased media.
The two links above provide information as do the websites of the United Nations, Alertnet, ReliefWeb, and others.
Now I have been very harsh towards the media and sometimes I am overly critical. As I search, there are reports from each country that are experiencing protests. The media is doing their job. Here in Canada I would have to say that few know we have imposed sanctions on Syria. My point here is that the media needs our help to dig for information as well.  
I do wish there was a one site for all news but there is not. Multiple sites have to be searched. This is no different than the fact that any large city usually has three or more daily newspapers. Each has its own identity or bias and with each you should delve into that understanding of the world.
There is a great deal of life going on in the world and no one news outlet can handle all of it. This is very much a case of the individual having the intelligence to seek out all the sources they can. The capability to do that is exactly why technology has been pushed on us. The crazy part is that we are still too lazy to do the work.
Imagine the person that only gets their news from one source? Now imagine having a conversation about world events with that person. Is it the of fault media for not presenting more information to its readers? There was a time when I would have given a large yes to that question. Now I am a great deal more understanding because doing such a thing is near impossible. However I am sure that each news outlet will defend their balanced news reporting.
On another point, the media is not just newspapers and websites. There are academic papers, documentaries, government websites and of course the blogs.  There is a wide spectrum of thought out there, some insane, some perplexing, some compelling and others you just wonder who even needs to know such things. Happy news searching.

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