The television news reports mostly topics such as politics, sports and scandals and often leaves other important news events un-covered. Is this purely to report media hype rather than true news events?
There are two recent events that sparked this article, firstly the flooding In Tennessee and secondly the renewed volcanic ash cloud from the volcano in Iceland.
The first event, the worst flooding in Tennessee in many years, with famous landmarks such as the Opreyland Hotel under 6 feet of water, has been a major news story in the USA, and you would think that with this being a major disaster to a famous city that this event would have news coverage in the UK.
Not so it appears, as the BBC News (Internet edition) has only a few photographs of the flooding in Nashville, and the television and radio news in the UK has not even mentioned it.
The second event is the new cloud of volcanic ash that is pouring out of the volcano in Iceland that is continuing to erupt. This new volcanic ash cloud is again disrupting air traffic in Ireland and Scotland, and may potentially close airports in England as well, however has anyone in the USA heard about this on the news? Of course not.
It seems as if these days the media only reports those events that they feel will give them the most viewers, and not a balanced perspective of news from around the world.
In the UK, right now the primary topic is the general election that is being held on May 6th.
Behind this is the coverage of the spillage from the BP Oil Rig in the Gulf Of Mexico, but other than these big news stories, only events of minor significance are being reported.
The BBC yesterday reported a trailer from the Moscow Circus which came unhooked and crashed into a block of flats (apartments), causing a major bridge close to the flats to be closed. Sure that affected me on my way to work yesterday, since I live in the city of Southampton where the incident occurred, but if it had not been for the fact that it was a trailer belonging to a circus, would this have been worthy of reporting on a national level?
The news in the USA as always is primarily focused on politics, in particular the president or anything related to elections, or election scandals. Secondly USA news is focused on sports, whether it’s big games and events, or scandals involving sports personalities. Thirdly news in the USA focuses on celebrities and scandals related to them. After this usually comes other trivial news items, and the order of these events being reported is usually only changed by a major event taking place in the USA.
I am sure that there are a number of people in the UK who have been to Nashville, or who know people living in Tennessee, and the flooding ought to definitely have been newsworthy enough for worldwide coverage. Likewise there are enough people in the USA who have family, friends or contact with Europe and who would be interested in details about the new flight disruptions.
My disrespect for news reporting began years ago, when I heard about an IRA bomb that went off in the UK. I lived in London for 15 years, and knew people in different parts of the city, but the news report only said that “a bomb exploded in a shopping center in London today.”
Nothing was said as to the name of the shopping center or it’s location, so my immediate reaction was one of “did anyone that I know get hurt?”
For those who don’t know how big London is, compare it to New York or Chicago. Well take Chicago and triple the size maybe! Greater London stretches almost 25 miles from the center in all directions, so that’s a pretty big area, a lot of suburbs and a lot of shopping centers as well.
This type of minimalistic news reporting happens all the time, and would it have hurt them to have said that “a bomb exploded in the Brent Cross Shopping Center in London today” instead of omitting the location?
Just those few extra words could relieve the stress on people who have family and friends in a location where an event like this happened, and it costs nothing to add important detail.
Just imagine on September 11th, 2001 if the news reported that planes had struck an office building in Manhattan without stating which one. Anyone and everyone who knew someone that worked in Manhattan would be fearing the worst for them.
Just knowing if there is an accident, which rail line, which train, plane, which road in which part of which city, is all important information to someone on the planet. Please Mr News Reporter, DON’T skip the facts when you report the news.
It’s for reasons like this that I glean the news that I want to hear from the Internet these days.
I start with the World News, using multiple sites to get my information. Then I look at the UK News, mostly from the BBC, then my local news from where I grew up in Bournemouth. I also review news from places where I have lived, Northern Indiana and South Florida on a regular basis. Most of the news items that I see will never be covered on the television or radio in my local area.
I guess that people have become accustomed to being fed only news scraps, especially in the USA where I found the news reporting on the television to be far more limited in coverage than in the UK, and focusing often on scandals rather than on real news events.
I am sure that a lot of people will agree or disagree with my views, so if you do, please set me right or state your views on how the news is or should be reported.
Personal Opinion and Experience