Are we missing the really big news stories?

28/07/2014 at 1:11 pm Leave a comment

Earlier this week, Francisco Toro wrote on the very interesting “Boring Development” blog, about a trend among Western media to ignore foreign news coverage. He referred to an article by Anjan Sundaram in the New York Times, which made the point that the crisis in the DRC was not getting the media attention it deserves.

We have made a similar point a few times: our media focus on “news” means that we are missing out on some of the really big stories of our time.

Many of the most important changes in our world are not sudden, nor dramatic, but are slow, incremental changes, never making the headlines, but gradually and inexorably changing the context in which we work and live. Changes that are far too subtle, or far too gradual, for our insatiable appetite for “news” to notice.

For the news culture we have built up favours the sudden and the dramatic. And its interest in a “story” drops dramatically, if it is far away.

Or in formula:

News

(please note that Distance can be measured in Emotional Kilometers, as some countries or regions may appear closer to us, through cultural or language ties).

And this news focus is not helping us. It is not “informing” us better, nor is it equipping us better to make better decisions. And it cements a picture of the world that can become hugely out of sync with reality.

Research by Dóchas found that more than half of the people in Ireland do not think that Africa is any better off than it was 20 years ago – despite massive evidence of huge economic growth on the continent. Similar research in the USA found that a whopping 67 percent of U.S. citizens thought that extreme poverty increased over the last three decades, when in fact the portion of the world’s population living in poverty dropped from 52 percent in 1983 to 21 just percent in 2013 over that period.

Similarly, many people in Europe continue to believe that world population growth is on some Malthusian crash course – largely because the really big story, that of consistently falling birth rates in most areas of the world, goes unreported.

population

Here are some other big stories, that few people will have seen in the mainstream media:

 

These, and many more stories that deserve to be told, are featured on our news service, “The World’s Best News”.

They just might help you balance out the obvious blind spot that many mainstream media have developed, when it comes to the wider world.

 

20140619-135250-49970629.jpg

 

Also read:

 

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Entry filed under: Communications, Gloabalisation. Tags: , , , .

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One of the most important graphs. Ever.

http://ourworldindata.org/data/health/maternal-mortality/ Today is World Food Day.

A day to celebrate that the days of truly enormous famines are over: http://blog.concern.net/global-hunger-index-2015-mapping-the-worlds-hunger Meet "Chocolate Mamas", producers of chocolate in #Tanzania, creating Tanzanian jobs. 
While #cocoa is grown in West Africa and Asia,
most #chocolate (the finished product) is made in Europe or the USA.

Meet Jaki Kweka, who is trying to change that. By creating protected areas and national parks and by limiting the spread of soy bean cultivation, Brazil has managed to drastically reduce the amount of rain forest being cleared.

http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/deforestation-in-the-amazon-has-plummeted-almost-90pt/ Costa Rica, #Afghanistan, China, #India and Albania are all embracing renewable energy sources.

http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2015/sep/15/five-developing-countries-ditching-fossil-fuels-china-india-costa-rica-afghanistan-albania?CMP=share_btn_tw Social change needs empowered citizens, and empowered citizens need occasional encouragement.

Great to hear that we're not the only ones who believe in the power of positive news! 50,000 rice farmers in #IvoryCoast are now working with better seeds, improving food security in the West African country.

As a result, harvests have increased.

Source: World Bank, photo: Jbdodane / CC BY Sub-Saharan Africa’s first light rail system starts operations. 
As Ethiopians celebrate their New Year, they also prepare to mark the beginning of operations of a tram system in the #Ethiopian capital #AddisAbaba. 
Read more: http://mgafrica.com/article/2015-09-20-sub-saharan-africas-first-light-rail-system-starts-operationsyou-guessed-it-in-ethiopia Going Mobile in #Malawi”. A mobile phone information service established last year to provide timely information to rural poor farmers in a southern African country, has been used nearly half a million times since its launch.

Established in Malawi by Gorta-Self Help Africa last year, the ‘321’ voice-activated service provides subscribers to the country’s largest mobile phone network with farm information and advice that they can access at the push of a button. And it’s all free. Read more at http://dochas.ie/sites/default/files/The-Worlds-Best-News-2015_0.pdf 10,000 copies of "The World's Best News" were distributed all over #ireland today!

See how The Irish Times described our newspaper, and click the link to read all the articles online!

http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/inside-out/have-you-read-the-world-s-best-news-1.2355806

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