01 July 2013

Off Stage

One of the important insights one gets from living in the age of the Internet and niche media is that you because you don't hear about something on major television network news feeds and the front pages of major daily newspapers is that there is a lot of news going on in the world that never reaches us. 

There are Kurdish rebels fighting a low level (and sometimes quite hot) insurgency against the Turkish government in a story that develops in fine detail every day to which we are oblivious.  Soccer matches that catch the world's attention escape our view (Spain lost the latest major competition after a long string of victories).  The long running parallel stories of the evolution of Evangelical Christianity as driving forces for social change in Latin America and Africa pass almost unnoticed.  We are almost oblivious to a long running Sahel war in which Muslims from the arid north are radicalized and pressured to encroach on Christians and animists to the South as the Sahara desert grows and imperils their way of life.  We don't see the daily parade of evening news crimes in places like Sweden and England and France that fuel anti-immigrant rage, just the over the top outbursts of misguided reactions to it.  We aren't immersed in the zeitgeist of a Japan where a huge share of young adult women have chosen careers and consciously decided that husband's and children aren't worth the losing those careers and the wealth and freedom that come with them, or the angst of a generation of college graduates without the good job prospects that their parents had.  We have a hard to even believing that it is possible to live lives as peaceful, tolerant and secure as those of our neighbors in Canada - good news isn't news.

Finding alternative sources of news, and becoming aware of what the core media isn't covering, can allow us to become aware of the full spectrum of what's going on at home and abroad.  These source have the potential to make a pretty average middle class American more aware of coming major trends in the world than the CIA and the President's top advisors.

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