Monday, July 25, 2011

What is news?

A friend recently asked me, "So, how is the famine in East Africa affecting your adoption?"

In my head all I could think of was, "What famine? Gosh, I should probably know about this. Was this recent? When did this happen? How come she knows and I haven't heard of this yet?"

I felt foolish for not knowing this was going on, especially because we are adopting from Ethiopia and I should be searching out every news story having to do with the country, right?

I spent some time this morning on the BBC World News website, pouring over all the articles I could find written on the topic. It turns out that this hunger crisis, as with any famine or hunger issue, is a pretty big deal.

Which brings me to my next question - if it's such a big deal, why haven't I heard about it yet?

How in the world can word of the death of Amy Winehouse - a troubled alcoholic pop star - reach me via radio AND television, yet somehow I have missed the fact that 12,000,000 people's lives are being threatened by a food crisis?!?

This is messed up! Really messed up!

Maybe, perhaps, I'm not clear on what "news" is? What qualifies for news? What should make the news? What is important enough to transmit to every household in the United States?

I suppose when it comes right down to it, I am also to blame. I don't seek out a lot of news. I enjoy watching the local 10:00 news on my couch before heading to bed, but rarely does the 10:00 news include any world news.

There has got to be a better way for me to stay informed when citizens of the world are facing difficulties like this.

Below is a list of articles, videos, and pictures that I found this morning that informed me of the severity of the food crisis. Please take a look.

Horn of Africa tested by severe drought

Editor's Note: The food crisis was recognized on my local news tonight! However, it was referenced because Bono met with local Somali leaders before his performance downtown. So, is it a victory or not?

1 comment:

  1. confession - I had a very similar experience. And felt similarly ashamed. Then disgusted at what qualifies in this country as 'news'.