I found out about the event in the most oddball way – through the posting of one of my Facebook friends, stating that their school was to be closed tomorrow, but (with no luck to the poor students), IB testing will continue.
Initially, I chuckled – how odd for a school to close down in the midst of testing! (ahem, Interlake). But then, a link sparked my attention:
Okay, so there is something going on in Thailand. Judging by the look of those guns, it’s probably something pretty important. But why is CNN *Travel* reporting about this event, not, let’s say, CNN World or CNN International or CNN USA?
Maybe this is an isolated incident. Surely ABC News would have this blaring as headlines, right?
Not even close. In fact, on their home page, the word “Thailand” doesn’t even pop up.
Sadly, of all of the major American news outlets, only MSNBC had a major story on it, and even there it was directed towards the effects of the coup on tourism in the country. FOX news also had a smaller byline for the event, buried under a story about American flags breaking on the backs of motorcycles.
Truly, only BBC cut to the chase, with the very first story reporting about US condemnation of the ongoing military coup. Good old Brits doing proper reporting.
Perhaps these kinds of events have become almost blase over the past decade, as the American media has been flooded about news in the Arab Spring, the splitting of Sudan, violence in the Middle East, and just other outbreaks of horrible news. But just because the American people are not so interested in such events, it means that major media outlets should cease reporting on it?
Imagine if this headline came out: “ROYAL NAVY HALTS PARLIAMENT; DECLARES NEW UK GOV” or perhaps “CONGRESS DISSOLVED AS NATIONAL GUARD STRIKES”. How many people would be listening now? Does this mean that Americans just don’t care about foreign events in particular, or that media outlets have followed the interests of the common man and have begun filtering out that news?
I’m certain that one of the most important things about living in a democracy is the ability to have freedom of access to information. A major obstacle to this is that there is no news being created about relevant, international issues. Instead, we are flooded with pointless gossip, entertainment, and internal nonsensical politics to understand our world. Perhaps, we need to once again crave for more news in the world.