22 February, 2006

Safari Notes: Of News

I always find it very interesting to read, listen or watch the news; especially, about world events. I read much over the Internet; but it is watching news on the TV that I find most interesting, and at times - frustrating!

One moment, I would be watching Aljazeera and the next - CNN, or the BBC or Euronews. Most times, they would have similar headlines and stories - but all presented differently. Some times, so much conflicting - that it is hard to know who to believe in; through the years, I find Aljazeera and Euronews more trustful. The BBC is most informative and has more depth, but at times, they are subjective too. CNN, used to be my most favorite, but gradually - I realized how they would twist and spin stories; in recent years, that has been more so.

CNN uses terms like: the 'International community', 'regime' and 'government', 'democracy' and 'democratic', and 'terrorism' - with a twist. The 'International community' would always mean the way Americans, and in particular: Washington, sees things; the democratically elected governments in Iran, Palestine and many others, are referred to as 'regimes'; even the largest democracy, India, is at times being made to seem less democratic than America - inspite of India having allowed, not only a person of Italian origin but a woman, to win an election for one of the highest posts and easily having minorities like Sikhs or Muslims holding influential posts; imagine the US having a female president of Japanese descent! The term 'terrorism' is always used by CNN, with Washington in mind.

Aljazeera seems to counter and contrast, CNN, on many issues - in particular those pertaining to Arabs and the Middle East; but, on the whole - they give a better and truer perspective on the Middle East. And Aljazeera, covers the Middle East extensively. Unlike CNN, which seem more focused on certain areas and countries, like: Iraq, Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the UAE; even their 'Inside the Middle East' isn't that informative and mostly subjective. Just as 'Inside Africa' dwells more on: South Africa, Egypt and Nigeria and very rarely mentioning Burkina Faso or Equatorial Guinea or Lesotho or the Seychelles; in Africa too, CNN is subjective - for instance: a few months ago it had mostly praise for Museveni and Uganda, while scorn and not much for Kibaki and the Kenyan government; this too, a reflection of how Washington views the two countries.

On the whole, the most informative and most extensive news service is the BBC. Giving news on - from Surinam to Kirghizia; from Bolivia to Mongolia; from Brunei to Belize. Always, in depth, varied and on different subjects. Reliable? It depends.

I find, the International Herald Tribune, most reliable and informative; whenever, IHT reports on places I have been to or am knowledgeable of - they are much closer to the facts and truth than most. Newsweek and the New York Times aren't that bad too; TIME is very much like CNN in the way they present their news.

I prefer reading or listening to a variety of news: local, regional and international - and then, only then, do I try to figure out what to accept and what to ignore. I never forget that, all these different medias are in the news for business; to make money and a profit; some of them, or should I say that - most of them, have, having the largest audience - thus more business and profit - most in mind; not presenting the news!

Search Safari Notes