15 March 2011

Breaking News

Mikko 136

What happened in Egypt? Besides the recent revolution; still only few weeks old, but what happened then? Do we know what happened to Mubarak and how has the transformation started. What fills the vacuum left by decades of western sponsored power unbalance?

Silly me, it no longer is breaking news. It’s old news. Too old to even feature as a small imageless online article on the side column of any self respecting mainstream publication I guess.

But Libya, surely that is still topical? I answer my own rhetorical questions here I know, but no it isn’t. Why isn’t it? Because something else happened somewhere else. And you know what else, it happened in an industrial country and it’s the biggest loss of life in such in recent times. And there are much more dramatic images of destruction available from there.

We – or our media; the media we like follow and for which our viewing gives its authority – likes to focus on one thing at the time. The media, as has been argued by people cleverer than me, can’t tell us what to think, but my gosh, it can tell us what to think about.

Life is deeper than news. Even a revolution is only a beginning for a process that is likely to be a lot less media sexy than the next breaking news. My thinking is that the fast and steady flow of news distracts us from ever actually having a clear picture of anything, but a lot of fragmented facts and factoids about the latest topic of global interest only to be soon forgotten. It all gives us a distinct sense of knowing what is happening, but in reality many things, more important to our own everyday life take place with no or little reporting. That is not to discredit any people currently suffering in Japan and elsewhere; I am not talking about them, I am talking about us, the consumers of news elsewhere. I guess it really is a sign of privilege when you can focus on the problems of others’. Alternatively it is an escape from your own problems, but in big picture it is good to remember that outside of itself, this kind of obsessive news voyeurism has very little significance, at least to me.

While I figuratively send my strength to the suffering and oppressed around the world where ever they may be, I think I will turn the telly off. Enough already, let me read a book.

1 comment:

Mikko Kapanen said...

This post is already a bot old, I admit, since Libya situation took a new turn. For a week, however, it already was a non event.