The U.S. News~Something is not right here!

In my international public relations class, every student was assigned a news channel they had to watch everyday for a week at the same time and record their findings on international news, however, the international news could not be about the war. The following week each student presented their findings and I must say I was shocked and a little disgusted.

I watched the NBC Nightly News for a WEEK and did not hear one international news story unrelated to the war. I was completely surprised and thought this must be a fluke. Maybe there was not a lot going on in the world for a week, or Nightly News was one news show which focused completely on the U.S. I was wrong. After hearing my fellow classmates reports I found that my experience with watching the news was not very different from my peers. Although most of my peers were at least able to find an international story they were incredibly minimal. Our class as a whole found that to get international news you must either go online or be able to read incredibly fast as on Fox News the international news is run on a banner on the bottom of the screen.

I worked with a group of women who watched NBC news at different times for the week. We came up with four possible theories that may have been the cause for this lack of international news for this station.

  1. Censorship is the suppression of speech. Could the media not be relaying information just because they believe it is harmful, sensitive, or objective?
  2. Agenda Setting is the media’s influence on audiences by their choice of what stories to consider newsworthy. Does the media believe that only U.S. and war stories are news worthy?
  3. Cultivation theory is the public’s dependence on television. Should people be looking for news elsewhere, other than television?
  4. Ethnocentrism is the belief that one’s country is better, or more important, than others. Is our country full of itself?

I personally believe that all four of these theories could be plausible ideas behind incredibly small international coverage. The question however is, what does this mean for the american people? It is a sad truth, however, it is our truth and I think something must be done about this. People all over the world are familar with the United States and what it stands for. People around the globe know who President Obama is and I don’t think most of us could name more than one, if that, president of another country outside the U.S.  I believe we are breeding ignorance among our citizens and ignorance, in this case, is not bliss. Outside of moral aptitude to seek information outside of our own country tell me how on earth we are going to compete in a global arena without basic knowledge of other lands. As an aspiring public relations professional I know I will be forced to go online to get my international news just to keep up with competition. This ethnocentric attitude that is being bred in America is toxic and dangerous and is creepily resembling the Roman Empire. We must demand international news coverage, because without it, we are only crippling ourselves.

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December 1, 2009. Uncategorized.

One Comment

  1. Andrews replied:

    Interesting juxtaposition. “This ethnocentric attitude that is being bred in America is toxic and dangerous and is creepily resembling the Roman Empire.”

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