Comments: Still Tuesday

I assume you're concerned with U.S. press coverage of the issue of redeploying U.S. forces? Or do you think this is something that requires an extended national discussion? I'm curious, because I'm not sure I see the problem here, but maybe I'm too close to it. It's been clear to me for some time that we need to reposition our forces globally, so this comes as no great surprise to me.

Posted by Andrew at December 9, 2003 02:07 PM

That's right. It's the attitude of a media that pre-decides what we'll want to read about that aggravates me.

Or maybe its the great, unwashed public with its preference for sex-and-scandal over actual news that annoys me.

I totally agree that we need to reposition our forces. The world has changed substantially in recent years. I'd just like it if the USofA media acted like it was something they think we could either understand or would care about.

Posted by Anne at December 9, 2003 02:48 PM

"I'd just like it if the USofA media acted like it was something they think we could either understand or would care about."

I'm rather sure many in the US media wish for the same. But then again, how many Americans know where Iraq is on a map? However tragic that may be (and it could certainly be changed), but the media (all over the world) sell eyeballs, not what's behind them...

Posted by Tobias at December 9, 2003 08:25 PM

Let me point out that it was the commercialization of news - the shift in corporate thinking by media owners who decided that news centers had to be profit centers, that first inaugurated the change in what you see on the news.

Before then, the evening news always carried a certain amount of "international" news and people paid attention. They felt like part of the world.

When you move to a profit-model, then ratings rule. One way for a news channel to get the ratings is the trust and faith people put in the news anchor but not everyone could have a Walter Cronkite so other news outlets started moving toward the kinds of stories that pull fast ratings - what I call "bread-and-circuses" coverage. Train wrecks, celebrity 'news', sex scandals, that kind of thing. No-brainer stories.

Today many of us lack interest in global affairs because they seem complicated and it's too much work to figure out how things got where they are at the moment, but had the "news media" been discussing these issues over the last twenty years, we'd all have 20 years worth of history to base our current opinions on.

In addition, the success of the all-news channel as pioneered by CNN proves that there are plenty of thinking people out there who want to know what's going on, and who want more than ten-second, sound-bite coverage of issues both local and international. Also, the proliferation of news sites on-line and the political blogging community are, I think, ample proof of the same things.

Posted by Anne at December 10, 2003 08:52 AM