UPDATED: 01/09/06

Big media are not as big as we need them to be. A thousand reporters herd to the Michael Jackson trial, but not enough seek out places where really important news is breaking. The number of fulltime foreign correspondents working for so called “major networks” and newspapers has decreased in recent years [1] as has the amount of of money and resources mainstream media spends on foreign newsgathering. [2] Tom Fenton, the veteran foreign correspondent for The Baltimore Sun and CBS News just noted: “American news organizations [have] so depleted the ranks of hard news reporters over the years that they suddenly had to send out whatever lifestyle, fashion, and gossip types they could muster on a moment’s notice.” [3]

The mainstream reporter, as well, often stays in capitals and major cities. Bloggers, however, can specialize, look at nooks and crannies big media don’t care or don’t know about, or don’t have any focus on.

Take Bird Flu: Those two words are getting major big media coverage and government attention.

Here is one item covered by the BBC of a few days ago.

Two teenagers in Turkey have died of bird flu, Turkish officials say, in the first cases outside South-East Asia.

CNN reported: “TURKISH BOY” dies from Bird Flu.

CBS: Also, now, as of today reported a third death in the same family.

MSNBC reports new cases in the Turkish capital.

The stories are treated as a medical item. Important–but nonpolitical. But there is one factor missing. Southeastern Turkey is a Kurdish region.

Why is this vital information?

Vladimir “van Wilgenburg” a young Dutch student and journalist blogs “From Holland to Kurdistan,” independently studying news from the Kurdish region of Iraq and the Kurdish lands in Iran, Syria and Turkey. He reveals an important detail of the Bird Flu story: The first family hit by the flu and the deaths were ethnic Kurds, a people long persecuted by the Turkish government.

This is his report on “Turkish state not helping Kurds dying from flu (Saturday, January 07, 2006):

Due to extreme poverty, many [Kurds] have chosen to eat their sick animals rather than bury them in lime pits. Several residents said Turkish authorities had failed to properly inform the Kurdish-speaking community about what bird flu is and how it spreads to humans.”Do you know what we can do against bird flu?” three students from a vocational medical school asked an AFP photographer on the mud-covered streets of the town, where donkeys compete for space with motorised vehicles.

“People are trying to learn what is going on from television, but most do not know Turkish fluently, they speak only Kurdish,” said a high school student who only identified himself as Erhan. Some, meanwhile, appeared to have taken official warnings to heart. “I do not eat poultry. I stay away from poultry and I do not let passengers with live poultry in their hands into my car,” 30-year-old taxi driver Hakan Capan said.Others took a more fatalistic aproach to the threat. Nuri Akatar, a 35-year-old self-employed father of eight, said two of his children fell sick after his wife cut up sick poultry and cooked them, but underlined that he was sure it was not bird flu. “We went to the doctor who said we were not in danger. If something happens to a member of my family, there is nothing I can do, I will leave it up to Allah,” he said.

Farm minister said bird flu had been detected in two wild ducks near the capital, Ankara, nearly 1,000km west of infected areas. “The disease has been identified in two wild ducks near a dam at Nallihan (about 100km west of Ankara),” Agriculture Minister Mehdi Eker told a televised news conference called to brief reporters on the situation in eastern Turkey [ Nort-Kurdistan].The discovery suggests migratory birds may be spreading the disease across the large country, as experts had warned.

Kurdish family in vainWails echoed from the home of the devastated Kocyigit family, a simple concrete structure built high above this Kurdish town. Beneath snow-covered mountains nearby, an open grave awaited.

The family has lost three of its four children this week to bird flu or suspected bird flu: 14-year-old Mehmet Kocyigit and his sisters 15-year-old Fatma and 11-year-old Hulya. The fourth was hospitalized.The doctor who treated the Kocyigit children said they most likely contracted the virus while playing with the heads of chickens who had died of bird flu. The children had reportedly tossed the chicken heads like balls inside their house.

As teams dressed in protective suits went home to home rounding up poultry for destruction, mourners trekked up the hill to the Kocyigit house. They took off their shoes before entering to sit with the children’s grieving mother. The father stayed at the hospital with their last remaining child until late afternoon, when he came back to bury his third child in a week.Hulya was buried later Friday in a simple, small grave in the corner of the cemetery beside her siblings. An imam wearing a mask and rubber gloves presided.

We’re suffering,” said an uncle of the children, Hasan Kocyigit.The Kocyigits were a typical Dogubayazit family — Kurdish, poor, dependent on and living closely with their livestock.

Bird flu does not easily infect humans, experts say. Eating cooked chicken is not considered risky. Health officials have said only those who had been in close contact with poultry were at risk. In Dogubayazit, that’s nearly everyone. On the main streets of this town of 56,000 near the Iranian border, cars and trucks compete with carts bearing live animals and with flocks of sheep.The people of Dogubayazit, 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) east of Ankara, are accustomed to living near their animals, and often it is the children who deal most with them. The people have seen their animals sicken before, but until now never thought it could put them in danger. “They knew the animals were sick, but who knew it would kill them?” Hasan Kocyigit said.

Language BarrierEducation is key to controlling the spread of the virus. That is hampered here by poverty and the inability of many in this largely Kurdish town — especially women — to speak Turkish.

Less than three months ago, Turkey tackled a large outbreak of the same deadly virus in a village in the west. No one there got sick, and the country was praised for its effective response.Here in the east, things have been different. [Reference to the Kurdish area]

Trudging over the hilltops toward other houses of brick, concrete and stone, neighbor Ahmet Tastan, father of nine, translated from Kurdish to Turkish for his wife and other women worried they or their children would become sick.They said they did not speak Turkish well enough to deal with doctors, and complained that the local hospital could not do anything for them, and that a larger one in Van where the Kocyigit children were treated was too far away.

….There is no trust among Kurds for the Turkish state and their policies

Or go to the Kurdish blog “Rasti”:

“Enforced poverty of Turkish-occupied Kurdistan, as well as lack of services, have been part of the policies of the Turkish state used to wipe out the existence of the Kurdish people. Are these policies now beginning to bear fruit for the Turks? What they could not do with all their armies, they are permitting a tiny virus to do.”

See also report in Kurdish media.

What a difference a blog or two makes: a political angle is brought in that probably contributed to the disease breakout in the first place. Where are the reporters for the networks, the big media? Why is this not the major press angle of the story?

Part of the propaganda of commercial media is that they keep us in touch with, as one slogan goes, “the news you need”; one network program even promises, “Give us 23 minutes and we’ll give you the world;” The New York Times’ most recent slogan is “everywhere you can’t be.” But the “world” and the “where” we tend to see in mainstream media is narrow, selective, episodic, torn from context. I illustrate this fact by asking my students to name more than two wars going on in the world today. Most can cite conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. In my surveys, Vietnam, China, and “Africa” trail distantly behind. In fact, there are about 40 wars raging in various parts of the planet. Some objectively are huge news stories–1 million dead in the Sudan, 3.9 million killed in the Congo–but they receive scant coverage, while others are given saturation coverage. The Congo War is presently killing 38,000 people a month!

study found that during a 15 month period the ratio of reports on ABC news from Iraq versus the Congo was 4997 to 4!

Why the disparity in news coverage of between say one missing American teenager in Aruba and tens of thousands dead in the Congo? The reasons are complex, political and logistical, but the result is that the herd chases its own tails (and tales). If Iraq is the big story, then all the lenses go to Iraq, Congo be damned. Meanwhile the U.S. mainstream media diverts into issues that we would all agree are quite trivial in the scope of the economy or world peace–the Michael Jackson trial, for example.

The blowback for such inattention can be fatal. On August 24, 2001, I wrote an editorial printed on the MSNBC Web site about the then wall-to-wall coverage of the missing intern from Congressman Gary Condit’s office. [*no longer online.] I pointed out that a Nielsen-estimated 24 million Americans had watched Connie Chung’s interview with Condit. I contrasted this immensity of news coverage with the fact that, according to United Nations reports, up to 60 million female children are “missing,” that is, presumed killed by parents who don’t want daughters. Also, 585,000 young women die annually of complications from pregnancy and childbirth; more children died last year from malnutrition than died during the era of the black plague in medieval Europe. Finally, according to the Save the Children organization, “in Asia, one mother in 19 sees her child die in the first year of life.”

I wondered if we couldn’t find some way to escape from the spiral of silliness, triviality, and “human interest” sensation that had become the news business, or at least instill a sense of relativity.

A few weeks later, on September 11, 2001, we were all reminded that important events and issues occurring in distant lands can explode in our backyard if we ignore them. Who can cheerlead for such a system of selecting “what is news”? Who will mourn its passing? Again, blogs may not be the only answer, but the mainstream media are the problem, and the many good, conscientious, honest reporters trapped within the system know it.

Let’s hope the bird flu is not the biggest blowback of all…

[1] Stephen Hess, “Media Mavens,” Society, 33, no. 3 (1996): 70-8.

[2] Daniel Riffe and Ariamie Budianto, “The shrinking world of network news,” International Communication Bulletin, 37, Spring, 2001: 18-35.

[3] Tom Fenton, Bad News: The Decline of Reporting, the Business of News, and the Danger to Us All. (NY: Regan, 2005): 63.

Update on Monday, January 9, 2006 at 07:24PM by Registered Commenterdavid.d.perlmutter

Follow-up by Kurdish blogger Rasti in response to reports in Turkish and American media. Again, an exmple of important roles international bloggers can play in understanding foreign events.

It used to be that the only way to find out about terrible tragedies in foreign lands that were not the focus of herd journalism was to get newsletters from small human rights or political groups. Now we have blogs–about Zimbabwe or Kurdistan. That does not mean the problem is solved or that lives are saved, but at least we can’t plead ignorance.

Originally posted January 7, 2006 at PolicyByBlog

One Comment

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    Original Reader Comments (58)

    An excellent and informative post. I’ve travelled through the region involved, and I managed to miss the significance of the Kurdish-Turkish angle. There is so much information we need that we lose in the din of the media echo chamber. The media’s problems seem centered on the profit motive. Entertainment pulls in more viewers than news, runaway brides are a lot more fun than bird flu, and, presto, galloping ignorance is everywhere. This is one instance of the general case that the profit motive doesn’t work in a number of fields. Medicine, prisons, the military, and education come to mind. I wonder if we’ll quit following the free market Pied Piper soon enough to save ourselves.

    The last time bird flu was big in the news, and the tamiflu hysteria was cresting, I got so tired of the medical misinformation that I tried to do my bit, as a biologist, in a blog post called Bird Flu: facts and fiction (http://acid-test.blogspot.com/2005/10/bird-flu-facts-and-fiction.html). Enough bloggers getting the facts out can shift the national dialogue, and in the case of bird flu, we have to hope it bloody well does.
    January 9, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterquixote
    Nice piece. Not ten minutes prior to finding it, I wrote an email explaining to a sceptical friend why blogs—and, as you say, other things—are making inroads against the MSM.

    Nicely done.
    January 9, 2006 | Unregistered Commentergoldpython
    Ah, but the press only cares if politically correct people die…

    I have a blog on Mugabe who has wrecked the economy of Zimbabwe in the name of liberation Marxism, and is stopping food shipment to his political enemies during a major famine…few of my links are from the US press, even though that country is next to South Africa, which was the boogeyman frequently condemned (rightly) for apartheid…

    …and yet, as I frequently point out, he is not the worst thing that can happen to Zimbabwe…look at the civil war in Liberia (where I also have worked), which has many American ties, which probably killed half a million people without a peep from the press…
    January 9, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBoinkie
    If the Turkish state really is allowing the bird flu as a bioweapon – or even being callously negligent – then it’s setting itself up for some harsh instant karma. Bird flu makes no distinctions of race!
    January 9, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJulian Morrison
    It used to be that the only way to find out about terrible events in foreign lands that were not the focus of herd journalism was to get newsletters from small human rights or political groups. Now we have blogs–about Zimbabwe or Kurdistan. That does not mean the problem is solved or that lives are saved, but at least we can’t plead ignorance.
    January 9, 2006 | Registered Commenterdavid.d.perlmutter
    Its a simple fact about the Mainstream Media that wherever Americans are, there too is the media. Now don’t get me wrong: we need reporting on our men and women around the world. This does not, however, excuse the Media of its obligations. Searching the word “Iraq” on CNN.com results in 14406 hits while “Congo” has a mere 778. The first article dates August 18th, 1996. Nearly 10 years! That’s 77.8 articles for every year while these wars have been going on for even longer. In another way, for an article to be written and published, 5861 Congans had to die. (Fun Fact – FOXNEWS.COM has but 62 articles when searching “congo.” Sounds bad until one searches “iraq.” 60. But I won’t go into media bias tonight.)

    When the producers of “60 Minutes” decide that asking Britney Spears in a sit-down interview about her overtly sexual songs, is more important than covering the atrocities occuring in Africa, something is wrong.

    Americans need to realize what is happening to our major news outlets. Having an “Entertainment” section of the news is fine. but playing off entertainment AS news brings the profession of journalism down a path that, hopefully, Americans will eventually stop following.

    Perhaps the appearance of blogs is connected to this watering-down of television news. Perhaps hardcore bloggers such as your organization and Kos arose from the frustration of needing the news but not being able to get it. And perhaps it is blogs that will make the Main Stream Media realize that Americans WANT news.
    January 19, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterjordan87
    Obviously the main stream media is not reporting anywhere near to the amount of what is really happening in the world. Furthermore, reporters are reporting on stories that they assume will entertain the public than that are of importance. It is sad to think that we are not being informed about so many events happening in this world from our major networks. The press has to know of this other news and yet they choose not to report it. I know when I say this many can agree I am so sick of hearing about the missing girl in Aruba! I wonder if the media is too, they have to be. I am quite sick of watered down news also. Hopefully blogs will contribute to the mass media reporting accurate and important issues.
    January 19, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterYourstruely
    In my opinion, Mainstream Media only covers people that are political or social figures in the U.S. If Snoop Dog or any other musician goes to another country and mysteriously disappears or even dies, it would make the top story on every news station across America.But if 2 million people die of Bird Flu, we wouldn’t even know about it. The media covers what they think makes good news. To normal people, thousands of people dying of Bird Flu would be considered good news because if enough people cover the story then there is a possibility that we could do something about it.

    When hurricane Katrina came in and devastated New Orleans, I bet that every single news crew across America wanted to cover that story. I�m willing to bet that even news stations outside of America covered the story because of the devastation that happened to an historic city. If the same thing happened in Turkey, I don�t believe that citizens in America would hear about it because to us, its not news. I believe that we as citizens of this country should determine for ourselves what news is and what is not considered to be news.
    January 21, 2006 | Unregistered Commentersportsmasterjoe
    I believe that mainstream media is not doing its job properly. The news channels seem to want to entertain the world to keep their rating up, rather than let the world really know what is going on. I always feel misinformed because I believe that they are leaving out crucial information or giving out wrong details. For instance, when the news channels gave the wrong information about the miners. Everyone wanted so badly to be the first to get the story out, that they gave the wrong information. That shows that they weren’t interested in what happened, but they were interested in winning their competition. Delivering the news should not be a competition. It should be showing the world what is going on, and how the world can get involved in trying to fix it.
    January 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterConcept24
    It comes as no surprise that Media coverage of millions dying of malnutrition, wars, famine, etc. is meager. Media coverage is a business. It has to earn considerable profits for it to survive among its competitors. Unfortunately for those who have them, this does not allow much room for journalistic principles. The networks have to cater to their audience and not overload the broadcasts or articles with depressing news that might cause the consumer to turn off the television or place the article back on the newsstand. Furthermore, the American consumer is interested in what is directly affecting him: things like the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and the potential for bird flu to spread to North America. Civil wars in Africa and Vietnam have are not know to the common consumer to have significant effects on his or people he knows lifestyles. As a result, he is most likely going to turn off the network reporting news on dying Zimbabweans and change to the one reporting on dying Americans. However, the internet has presented ample opportunity for news that might otherwise remain unreported, to be reported and read. I suggest that those who feel that they are ignorant because the less important stories are making the headlines dig a little deeper than Yahoo Headlines.
    January 23, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterasdf
    I think the lack of coverage of the bird flu in mainstream media shows the problem with the news today. It is unfortunate that most people tune into the evening news to find out what is going on around the world and do not realize that the media is not showing them many of the important events around the world. Instead, when you watch the news you see the same repetitive stories on every station. And when they do cover a story such as the bird flu, the coverage is brief and they often do not go into detail about the problem because they do not use their resources properly. I wish networks would focus more on providing important and reliable information rather than reporting what they believe is entertaining and will help their ratings.
    January 23, 2006 | Unregistered Commentergoavgjoe26
    Reading articles such as this one makes me realize that I’m one of the ignorant people that was discussed in the article; one that is aware of very few current events in the world. I hope that others will come to sites like this that will help inform them of important issues such as Bird Flu in Kurdish areas and how very little is being done to help them. As was covered in the article, most Kurdish people don’t have the education to communicate with Turkish speaking doctors. I think it is imperative for a translator to be on staff at the local Turkish hospitals to help with circumstances such as this. It’s sad to realize that Turkey could care less about their Kurdistan people and actually use poverty as a way to wipe out the existence of the Kurdish population.
    January 23, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterbooboo2
    On a national and worldwide level only so much news can be covered and to broadcast every person who died that day all around the globe would take days, not to mention all of the wars going on, disease and other complications that surround us. Therefore, the news must filter the stories and choose the ones that are of greater importance to the world. People die everyday and my sympathy is with every one of them, but this part of life doesn’t affect the people enough to change the world. Not that the wars in Vietnam, China, and Africa aren’t important, but only so much can be covered in the length of time the news has to broadcast If the wars in the other countries do not conflict with the way we live in our country it is not necessary for me to be aware or even worry about what those 40 other wars are about. However, these issues occurring in distant lands can explode in our backyards and be a danger to many people, so they should not be ignored. I feel that it is the government’s responsibility to be aware of everything going on to protect the people and prevent those issues from becoming a problem in our country. Why rattle the citizens of the U.S. of a possible threat. The on going reports of wars and conflicts that are in no direct threat to the people of America should not be covered only to prevent a state of chaos. Too much media is an information overload leaving people to feel overwhelmed and fearful that all the tragedy that surrounds them will soon destroy their lives. As human being we need to have a sense of control and stability. Although, education is vital for survival it is ignorance that keeps us living a normal life.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commentersockrgirl
    I have to confess that I gave up on watching the news early in high school for this very reason: really? What will I learn today that will make me think a significant amount about anything? I really don’t care to give Britney Spears anymore attention than is already so generously lavished upon her. Brad Pitt and Jennifer Anniston are great actors, but does knowing every detail about their shortcomings impact my life at all? I made an opinion on Michael Jackson when he was singing “Billy Jean is not my lover…” So why does the news media keep harping on them, as if trying to prove that these people are more important than what is really happening in my world? And it is true today, now that I am a couple of semesters shy of graduating college, that I am still haunted by these overbearing celebrities’ stories. When will this superficial madness end! Wait; there may be hope at last!

    I have never read a blog before, and I can say that I never really knew what the blogging hype was about. I was so intrigued while reading this one in particular to learn that our media was basically helping the Turkish government cover up their “bird-flu warfare” on the Kurds by ignoring the truth for the sake of making room for more entertaining and profitable BS. It moves me, and obviously others, to the point of getting excited about this form of “information download.” That is something that doesn’t happen with television news casts. It is such a relief to have found a medium for receiving raw information on actual current events. Thank you—blogging has just found another advocate.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterbeveleeml
    As I read through some of the responses to your article, I feel the need to play “devil’s advocate” if you will. Many people have commented about how the major media providers are only delivering partial or incorrect information, but what is to say that these blogs aren’t just as biased or as completely inaccurate as the above articles mentioned. You state that bloggers now have the opportunities to be a niche reporter, and report on the stories that the mainstream reporters don’t care about. Why are you so quick to believe that these bloggers are telling the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? What makes a blogger any more credible than a reporter on CNN? I am far more apt to listen to Anderson Cooper than some random blogger.
    On another note, the American public should be held accountable for the pitfalls in the media’s reporting, not the major media providers. The producers of 60 Minutes didn’t come together and conspire to deprive the American public of fair and balanced media coverage. The producers of 60 Minutes came together and determined that a segment on Brittany Spear’s lyrics would generate a larger audience than any piece covering the atrocious events occurring in Africa. The media is merely a puppet of the American public, not the other way around like many people would like to believe. The media has the same profit motive virtually every company in America has, and delivers the product that will generate the largest revenues.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterFatManLittleCoat
    Trying to get the news out fast and accurate is one thing, but getting the news out first with the wrong information is idiocy. That is just what it seems like the news is trying to do today. They are trying to get the story out so fast that they are forgetting to check if their information is even accurate. For instance what happened with the miners, and in some cases what happened with Katrina. They were telling us if we went home to be very careful of looters, they are everywhere. When I got home a couple days after the storm, they had cops all over the place where I lived. We went and talked to a cop and he said that they had not seen one person looting yet. Once again we were delivered false information in the place of speed. I think the mainstream media needs to change its views on what is REALLY important in this world. Instead of two famous Hollywood figures being all over the news for getting divorced; they should have more news about the bird flu, more news about the war with Congo, and anything else that could affect the way the we live in the years to come.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterwaterboy1187
    I thoroughly enjoyed the blog. I’m rather new to the whole blog experience, but I might add I was very impressed and informed. I had no idea of the contention between the Turkish and Kurdish peoples. I am glad to have become aware of this knowledge and that this blog was posted. It’s quite pathetic that most people won’t ever realize that people are dying from this because no one will share the dangers and if needed, proper medical attention in Turkey. If this was an American disaster or tragedy, I’m sure plenty of other countries and definitely our entire country would be fully aware of the situation.

    Good Work
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterziggystardust
    You cannot fault the media for focusing on entertainment rather then important societal problems. You must lay that blame on the American people because the media will show us the news that will generate ratings, which in turn generates profit. There was a moment in time when the media discussed plenty of international news, CNN for example, yet as time went on CNN noticed that their viewers began to decrease. This led to the company pulling reporters form other countries (excluding when CNN is kicked out of a country). The number of reporters that were pulled was so high that CNN will now rely on other syndications’ reporters, BCC or Reuters for example, to do the reporting for them. If the American people show an interest that they want to watch international news or current societal problems, instead of entertainment, the media will then begin to focus on that. With all that some of the people who are interest in current problems look towards outside sources which can explain the dramatic increase in blogs.

    ***Even though I used CNN as an example I still love to watch it.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commenternotmyfault
    Today technology gives us the tools to help ask question and have others hear them and help do something about it. As more cases of the bird flu in Turkey arise, we need to begin to look at this situation and try to understand it better so that we can prepare ourselves individually and as a nation. We need to now begin asking our government leaders questions on how they are trying to prepare for the bird flu if it makes it to our country. Are we going to be ready with vaccinations? If not do we need to start having food and water put away or is the government doing this for us. What other things do we need to have on had such as face mask and gloves? So the big question is hear, should we act now or when the bird flu get into our country and it is too late to prepare for it. Now ask yourself are you going to be ready?
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commentercitrusman05
    This was a very interesting article. I had heard of the bird flu before, but had no idea it involved the Turkish people. I believe that American people have the right to know if something like this is happening. I agree with you saying that the media people have become slackers. There are so many facts on events that occur that the American people don’t hear about it because someone else didn’t think it was important enough to talk about. I would like to see a change because I think it is important to be informed with the most current information on the news.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKB45

    I agree with your view on the media being “one-sided.” The news channels focus on what they know will make them money. If one news channel had a story on about Iraq and another had a story on about the Congo, I (like a lot of people) would choose to watch the story about Iraq. The news companies know this when deciding what to air. The Michael Jackson story was aired for what seemed like eternity, but the news channels did this knowing that they would make tons of money off the advertisements they showed during the break. This just goes to show another example of how the world revolves around money.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commentercurlyfries327
    As horrible as it may sound, I believe that the average American citizen does not care about what goes on in other countries. Human beings are naturally terribly selfish. As far as the media goes, they have to compete with HBO and Showtime for viewers. They look to present the news as a form of entertainment. If they show the Michael Jackson trial or paste images of a pretty Caucasian girl who has gone missing in Aruba, they get viewers. If they talk about unrest in countries thousands of miles away, all the television sets in America turn to Survivor. I am not saying that all Americans are uninterested in what goes on in other parts of the world, but for the most part they are. Mainstream media should cover a broader range of topics but as long as entertainment is a factor, I am afraid we will be relegated to seeing endless celebrity trials and pretty missing teenagers on the news and in the newspapers.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKitKat86
    Very informative Blog….
    If millions of people are dieing on the other side of the planet I would and I bet the majority of are society would like to be informed about it way more then if Paris Hiltons dog was lost or if Michael Jackson’s back in trial. These celebrities personal life has no comparison to millions of lives. Today’s mainstream media are only focused on covering what they think are the popular stories, not the most important stories. The focus the media needs to change. Not just on topics that relate to America but to inform us what is going on in other parts of the world. All of these world issues are going to ketch up with the United States some day and it would be nice if we know about it before it does.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBOdge7
    I do not understand why the media is not making a bigger deal about the bird flu. Even though it is not yet directly affecting the United States, the virus could very easily spread if no one does anything to try and stop and prevent it. AIDS did not originate in the United States, yet there are thousands of people infected with AIDS throughout our country today. The media needs to become less infatuated with movie stars and politics, and instead show more interest in the important things, such as life threatening viruses. If the impoverished country cannot afford to do research and stop this virus, than a more powerful country should step up and do something.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commentereperin1
    If it were only that easy to alter mainstream media coverage and its issues, then blogs would be a great substitute, but it could never be that way. Americans all over this country tune in to there local news channel, and pick up there local newspaper because it’s reliable and available. Unfortunately not every person has a computer, or internet access for that matter. Bogs could indeed help issues surface and help voices be heard and I am all for it, but everyone doesn’t always look or feel compelled to do so. Not to say that people don’t care about the war in Congo or the bird flu, it’s just that they don’t go out of there way to learn of these daunting issues, even though they should. Mainstream media may be to blame, but it’s also the population as a whole fault for what issues are covered and those that are not. If everyone stopped watching the evening news and picking up the local paper, then absolutely they would change what they were covering, but that would never happen.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterstockdale
    The average American citizen would rather watch CSI than Larry King live. Most of us, therefore, are ignorant about the genocide in Darfur, Sudan but probably remember what Jessica Simpson wore to the Golden Globe Awards (was she invited?). The only other issues we care about are probably our troops in Iraq, and other incidents directly affecting America. A show on a Hollywood celebrity is going to attract more viewers than something about the Bird flu, or the tsunami. Therefore, it would be unfair to blame everything on the media. After all, it’s a business too. It has to look after its interests.
    The internet is a great resource to keep up with world affairs. If people would make an extra effort to “seek” rather than “receive” knowledge, they would be in a better position to dictate what the media offers.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterolefin
    Sex sells in this time and age and it is truly sad that what certain celebrities are wearing to awards’ ceremonies is more important than the bird flu epidemic. This was a very insightful and informative blog that acquaints many with a topic that I completely forgot about: the ongoing culture clash between the Kurds and the Turks. The Turks’ hate and abuse of the Kurds has been overlooked for too long now and this should not be tolerated. The idea of an inconspicuous genocide through the bird flu is alarming but is not far-fetched; a government so racist should not exist in this time and age but they have ruled this way unopposed for many years. The media should concentrate on exposing these terrible truths to the world rather than exposing us to America’s worst singers.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterGfect
    I believe it has been a long understood rule of journalism that the big story makes the money. It is interesting to hear others views on the subject. You are defiantly right that media seeks out what it believes to be the big story that will get them the most attention, ie: money, rather than what might actually be the most important one. While all stories have their importance the over reporting of one can lead to a lack of attention to others which could be just as important. Your example of the Michael Jackson case vs the Congo are prime examples. Personally I could care less about the Michael Jackson case, where as the genocide in the Congo is a much more prevalent story, at least to me. I know several people who also feel this way. When did it become more important for the news media to entertain its viewers with the biggest story rather than report the facts? Maybe self educating bloggers are going to be the newly informed public replacing the media’s monopoly on knowledge.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commentertrishthedish
    I think this article brings up an excellent point on how the American media is not covering enough news in other parts of the world. The bird flu is something that everyone needs to be aware of, and it is sad to think that some of the information provided by the news in America is not completely accurate. I think the American media needs to focus more on the importance of the news, rather than the short amount of time they give it to you. It is very sad to know that the bird flu has killed several children in the Kurdish area of Turkey. It is awful to think that because of a language barrier and other reasons, that many of the Kurdish people were not even informed of this awful disease.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterbkm9201
    It is very interesting to see how many people blame the media on the lack of worldwide coverage that it presents to the American public. I have to agree with a few of the other respondents that it is the American public who is in fact responsible for what the media does and does not cover. Is it because we are uninterested in news stories about other countries? Partly, yes. As another respondent suggested we are a very selfish society. We care mainly about what happens in our social arena. Outside events, like those in the Congo and Turkey, are not viewed as having a direct impact on us, and therefore we see ourselves as not needing to be informed about them. However, these events do have an impact on us and it is important to show more interest in these areas.
    But another important reason is because we don’t want to have to learn about others problems. Why after coming home from a long day at work would I want to watch a gory news documentary about the war in the Sudan when instead I can watch a Britney Spears interview, which promises to be “entertaining”? Also, we don’t want to have to put in the effort to become involved in these areas. As a workaholic society our time is limited and when we get home and sit in front of the TV, in general, we want to relax instead of getting all worked up about a news story. As long as the american people only show interest in “americanized news”, the news will only cover those stories and will not make the effort to change because why risk losing all that revenue for a few measly news stories?
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commentercontender
    I think that there is definitely a problem with the mainstream media reporting on things that won’t change, harm, or fix the world. BUT we all have to remember that CNN wants us to watch them at 8pm and not The OC or Desperate Housewives.. how are they going to compete with that.. but talking about Mischa Barton and Rachel Bilson or Teri Hatcher and Eva Longoria. We can’t be mad at them for trying to stay alive is what I think.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered Commentervogue
    It is surprising that with all the things going on in the world good and bad, mostly all media you hear about is devastating news. The mass media’s fixation on violence, death, and sex can’t be good for our morals. Although it’s impossible to cover all the stories everyone wants to here the companies should at least try not reporting on the same thing over and over like the teenager in Aruba. I think that if a News company would try reporting on something other than what is seen everyday, on all the main headlines, they would get lots of viewers who are interested in hearing news that isn’t on every other channel. I do feel that there are probably many things we can be informed about by bloging, but I don’t think the bird flu is that big of a deal, more people probably died of West Nile disease in our own country.

    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterCaptainC
    It is alarming what American freedom can be like. The good the bad and the ugly I guess; you get all of the good people speaking their minds ( like in the featured blog), you get the “important” news when you view major networks that exclude 98% of the world, and you get September 11 the consequences of ignorance.
    I was pretty shocked by some of the things said in this post. All of the wars that get no media coverage and the wrong information on a potentially life threatening virus prove the bias nature of television. In civics we learned that being a good American citizen meant being familiar with current events, and yet the misleading broadcast’s seem to be our only source of information. The blog in indeed a terrific way to let truth be heard but, be warned that with every good comes just as much bad and blogs could be easily abused.
    January 24, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterGwen S.
    Well, lets get a journalist’s point of view on this. The first two things I ever learned in mass communication class were what makes news: timeleness and of course proximity. Now where this ties in with the current “bird flu” issues is the proximity. The American society has become so lazy that the only information we gather is what come from our daily news reporter… (Which none are positive.) Reporters today only tell the stories that readers can relate to, everyone in America thinks they can relate with any issue in Iraq or Afghanistan just because of 9/11. There’s your proximity. While readers are skimming through a newspaper sure they might stop to read the current Iraq issues to catch up to date, but that one tiny column dedicated to the hundreds of civil wars going on in Africa is brushed by without thought. It seems if we weren’t affected in someway, then who cares? Bird Flu, oh yea that could come to America and kill us all…but oh those civil wars…ah not bothering the U.S. Even as a journalism major the media today still sickens me at times…I can’t wait to show the world what real news is, if I can get a job entitling me to do these things! Maybe I’ll just end up like the rest starting my own blog and trying to show the truth and horror beyond our blind eyes.
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterears1013
    After reading this article and many of the responses I realize how unaware I am of the events that go on in the world. And to be honest I also don’t care about what is going on around the world. I really only watch the news when something major happens such as 9/11, the tsunami, or hurricane Katrina. Many of the responses blame the media for not covering the bigger issues of the world. Instead the media reports on Brad and Jenn’s break up and which celebrity is with who. The responses also say that Americans would rather watch a television show than the news. So these news stations are basically just trying to keep their viewers however they can which is by reporting on trivial things.
    So I don’t really blame the news stations. They have to make their living too. I would blame the people like me. The ones that don’t really understand the importance of being aware of global happenings. The people that think news is entertainment. I think that it would be better to teach the younth of the America how important it is to know about the bird flu and matters such as that. Reading this blog makes me want to become more aware of world issues. Maybe when more Americans want real news the news stations will give it to us.
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterhunybuny5
    It is quite obvious that the media’s main interest is news that is happening on American soil. Is that necessarily a bad thing? News happening in our country is very important. We live here; we need to know what is going on. However, I do believe the media should be reporting more substantial news rather than updates in the Michael Jackson trial everyday. Also, I agree it is very important for Americans to gain a greater perspective of the world around us, and more world coverage would probably be beneficial. Yet, the world is a big place and it could drive one crazy to try and learn about all the events going on in every part of the world. The media’s main problem is its concern with entertainment rather than giving Americans important news that could benefit their lives.
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDaisy Mae
    When covering media such as the “bird flu,” a reporter may have the tendencies to only report on the information that will be beneficial to his area of coverage. However, the blogger traveling from Holland to Southeast Turkey reports on a more in-depth issue. Discussing cultural backgrounds and differences between the ethnic Kurds and Turkish people elaborates on a different topic in relation to the “bird flu.” Are the Kurdish people of Turkey not being medically informed and/or being given the treatment that is required of the “bird flu?” The Dutch blogger may comment on the Kurds being of a different ethnic background than most Arab people in Turkey and how the Kurds’ nomadic herding origin may cause their area to be more infiltrated with sick animals. One may see the rise in infections amongst the Kurdish people and the neglect in medical attention a result of the language barrier. Focusing on the more political controversy regarding the “bird flu” has recently been overlooked by mainstream news media around the world. Detailed and accurate coverage hopefully will be the new trend in news media versus the competitive news market today.
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterdiscofever06
    The Avian Flu epidemic, especially the most recent outbreaks in Turkey, has been the topic of mild speculation for the past few months. Like most others, I was heartbroken to hear of the family with three children who died of the disease, and another who is in critical condition. In this aspect, the media has nailed appealing to observers’ emotions. As noted on the blog however, these children contracted the influenza virus by making recreational use of the detached heads of dead chickens. This brings up an excellent point….this poverty stricken family, like most other Kurdish families of the region and its surroundings are tremendously uneducated and unfortunate. I seriously doubt that any child in America would remove himself from an intense game of X-Box so that he may participate in an exhilarating game of “Chicken Head.” Fortunately, we as Americans do not suffer from this lack of resources, education, etc., and are therefore, far less likely to contract the disease. Perhaps this issue is not being addressed as much as some may deem appropriate, but it is not one that affects us directly, and devoting ample coverage to this matter would be in opposition with the cornerstone of media success, reporting the “here and now.”

    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered Commentersportsman79
    This presents an interesting point, showing where Americans stand with mainstream media, seemingly oblivious to how much we could do to help out with the bird flu. I have read numerous newspaper articles concerning this very topic, problems with the bird flu. Yet, after reading a couple blogs of information, I somehow feel more up to date about what is actually happening. Maybe it is because reporters have a tendency to write articles stuffed with insignificant words. The articles or news reports would be much more worthwhile if they got to the point and informed the entire public, from the Kurds to Americans to the Chinese, about what we, the uneducated people, can do to help stop the spread of the bird flu. Unfortunately, the Kurdish have a language barrier, which complicates their situation of having access to sufficient information. But we should not let that barrier stand in the way of helping out. We should care for them the way we would want people to care for us. They desperately need our help- even if it just be a good blog written in Kurdish. And yeah, it may not be affecting America directly right now. But knowledge is power and we need to be prepared for anything (maybe a bird flu epidemic) that might come our way. Even Bush is starting to take action about America and the bird flu.
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered Commentersoulsrvivr
    I find the media coverage on the bird flu in America to be quite inadequate. I read the news paper almost daily and always first look at the international section to see what is going on in the rest of the world. It however doesn’t surprise me anymore when I see Americans pick up the news paper and look to see what’s going on in Hollywood, how a new movie rated or most of all sports. Now I’m not saying that I don’t find the sports section interesting but that is not the first thing I’m going to look at and definitely not the last before I trash the newspaper.
    If people don’t care about what is going on in other countries, they should at least know what is going on in their own. The American media is biased and shows its natives what they want to read or in other words, it hides what they don’t want people to know. As this month marks Guantanamo Bay’s (camp delta) 4th anniversary, amnesty international releases further torture allegations but the news papers don’t give an insight of what is really going on over there, and on top of all I could hardly find Americans who even care. There are just too many ignorant people out there. If you are reading this you’re probably an exception!
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterEasyCheez2474

    When it comes to “Bird Flu” and other epidemics people seem to see the least amount of media coverage until it involves American citizens. At any time when you turn on the news you will see more coverage about Hollywood stars and what dramatic experience they had shopping than thousands of people dying from bird flu or wars. The media does what it needs to do for ratings, even when it has to do with people dying all over the planet. The one thing that absolutely bothers me is what happens when the bird flu comes to America. Instead of covering the bird flu and making people realize this is a huge deal, we are busy worrying about movie stars and other pointless things. The media needs to get its priorities straight and report what is affecting the people of this country.
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterError159
    This very informative blog on the bird flu made me feel very naive about what is going on in the world. It has previously been brought to my attention that the mainstream media does only like to chase the more entertaining stories to maintain more viewers, however, this blog made me realize the extent of it. It might be true that Americans are more conserned with what our country is involved with, but that does not mean that we should be left in the dark about other issues around the world. In my oppinion, it is obvious that if the news media would educate its viewers more on foreign issues such as the bird flu, we might be more inclined to do something to help.
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered Commenternews123
    I would have to agree that the media only covers those instances that either most affect the people in the U.S. or have something to do with the entertainment industry. The media is there to communicate these events to the public, but with so much going on in the world, like the many different wars, who decides what is shown and what is not. It is the media’s job to deliver the news to us, but we can’t be lazy about finding the information either. Things such as these types of web logs and other news websites on the internet discuss these rather global epidemics. Although they should probably be made more apparent, they do exist and maybe we are the ones that need to try to change the focus onto the more important events occurring today.
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterbiggiesmallz13
    The media always airs what the public wants to see and not what we need to see. Instead of preparing us for a possible national crisis that could easily strike in the near future, they continue to report on Brad and Angelina’s pregnancy. Brad and Angelina are receiving more media coverage just because they are having a baby than the thousands of people dying in another country. The flu is spreading across the Turkish nation and can easily find its way into America. If it happens to find its way into the country, are Americans prepared and well educated on the flu, and is our government prepared? I do not put the full blame on the media. The majority of Americans would change the channel from a report on the bird flu in order to watch who Jennifer Anniston is seen at the beach with and what her friends say about her new love.
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered Commentercperri
    We, as Americans, are too self-absorbed to worry about the problems of other impoverished countries. Although I can’t say that I am an avid reader of the newspaper, I do get around to reading it every now and then. I must say that I have never found a humanitarian piece to be so informing. I have read a few articles on the bird flu, but found the information to be lax and futile; whereas the information provided in this blog was actually informing. I recall the last newspaper article that I read concerning the bird flu. A Turkish doctor was complaining about the amount of media coverage that the epidemic was receiving. He said that it was not enough for Americans that people from his country were contracting the virus; they were not interested in covering the story until people began dying. I think that this doctor said it perfectly. We are not interested in hearing about any event until the outcome is devastating. I do think it would be beneficial to our youth if they were exposed to situations like these, rather than the celebrity saga. Perhaps, if we were exposed to situations like these at an earlier age, we would do more than sigh about them over our diner.
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBurt03
    Simply put news companies are now being run by network executives. The result of this is less coverage for things that really matter, and more coverage of sensational stories. Stories that seem sexy to president’s of these news companies. With more and more cable news channels popping up through the years, the news companies find themselves in direct competition. They have become less concerned with accuracy, world matters, and legitimate pressing matters. They now simply want to beat the other company to the next sensation. They don’t want to commit to a story that would require in-depth research. They don’t have time for that. The closes they usually come is a story about the local Burger King serving bad hamburgers. If it doesn’t bring in viewers it doesn’t go on air. The news of the day is not dictated by the importance of the story. It is dictated by whatever the news director wants to show. What ever benefits his point of view, in this way the news is skewed toward whatever the news director wants us to pay attention to. This could be to the benefit of a political party or maybe even a corporate sponsor or partner. So it can be no surprise important facts like those shown in this blog are missed. With more large corporations comes less reporters out there independently looking for a story. There are more stories and less news companies ready to go out and find them. Money now dictates news and this is the result.
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered Commentertaco45
    Reading this blog makes you really question what we see on the news. The news often revolves around subjects that seem very unimportant to us and that are just on the news because it’s a good story or because it will provide us with some form of entertainment. I guess you can’t really blame people in the news for trying to focus their attention to what the people want to hear about, but at the same time we should be much more informed about other situations going on around the world than we are. I know that many Americans can get stuck on the fact that there is a girl missing in Aruba because it is a good story, but the bottom line is that a story such as this should not receive the amount of media attention that it has compared to some of the other events going on around the world.
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMOOSE
    The clash of entertainment versus news is something that has been in my mind since my high school journalism class. Providing fast, accurate, and diverse news is only a secondary objective of the news media. The primary objective is self-preservation. The various media outlets must make money if they are to survive. Money comes from advertising and depends largely, if not entirely, on the size of the audience. I, like many people, don’t have the time or attention span to sit down and read/watch hours of hard news. I’d rather just get the general facts, and maybe more detailed information if something is interesting. After a long day of work or school, most people want to just sit back and relax. They want to be entertained. So, there is an ideological, if not ethical, dilemma between the presentation of factual certainty and the need to provide bold, fast, entertaining news. Unfortunately, both are necessary. If a news service is not entertaining enough to hold an audience, it will not be around much longer. Likewise, if a news service is too sensational and lacks some reasonable amount of accuracy, it will lose credibility and lose much of its audience as well. In the current paid-by-advertisement system, the only solution appears to be a compromise between the two. Be accurate enough to maintain a credible image while being entertaining enough to get the ratings.
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterInVinoVeritas
    I feel this piece is a very informative work and brings much needed attention to the problems in today’s media. It made me realize how much our news today primarily focuses on only what affects the United States. As the title suggests, the “World News” needs to spend more time and coverage on actual world news instead of trivial matters such as the latest celebrity scandals. I liked this article because it allows the reader to relate by actually gave examples of how this disease is affecting families. This was very informative and I enjoyed it.
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered Commenteremily1439
    I do agree strongly with the fact that the mainstream media isn’t giving us everything, but only what “we need”. For example, I have heard many things about the bird flu, but nothing as in depth as the previous blog.
    An argument such as this brings questions of other instances of this around the world such as the many wars that occurring at this moment, even though a large percentage of the American population have no idea of whats happening.
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered Commenteregusalus
    This blog was interesting to me. I’m quite embarrassed to say that I wasn’t really completely aware that the media decides what people will and will not be reminded/made aware of. One specific example that I believe is a “sums it all up” way to prove this, is the war going on in Iraq. We know when our people die in Iraq, who they were, and where they are from. It is, in the jist of things, sad that the media writes the story that the people want to hear, and not, for example, the story that the people need to hear. I wonder though, what would happen if the media changed completely to focusing solely on the ‘important’ story. What would happen if they gave us a more ‘spread out’ sense of that was going on ‘where we can’t be’. I assume that the media would probably have a hard time making the money they are currently making because a large amount of people would probably lose interest. I guess the thing that makes me wonder is: is the media wrong? or are we to blame? The media only plays off of what we show them. If the war in Iraq is what we want to hear, then that’s what we are told. If people are changing that channel when talk of Africa or other places and events that aren’t considered buzz-worthy, then what would make the media want to speak about it? I guess what I’m saying is the media may be wrong for it’s coverage, but essentially we allow them to be that way.
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered Commentersmartgirlmc
    Before I read this article my opinion on blogs and anyone who wasted their time on them was just that, a waste. However, now I find myself asking what have I been missing? I am not surprised in the least that the networks don’t cover as much as they should. It was my opinion that the only way to find out about the rest of the world was to find books on them or visit the place. Now my eyes have been opened and I plan on devoting much more time with this new tool learning what is going on around the world. Knowledge is power, and the more I know the more I can share with others and maybe if enough people start hearing about it the networks might start doing their job better.
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSt. Aiden
    Mainstream media is primarily focused on bringing information to the masses, therefore, the media preference of the majority will be presented to the public. The American public, as a whole, wants to see a spouse homicide or anything to do with a celebrity. The majority of the American public does not care about or want to see the problems of Turkey or anyone else besides themselves. I would not look at mainstream media as dignified or as always relevant but as popular. This is my first blogging, but I can see how a blogger or any person who wants specific, dignified, and important information could get exasperated with mainstream media. Mainstream media has a strong business concern. In this case, it is their constituents, the American public, who are to blame for the selfish and immaterial media coverage of the United States.
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBLUEBIRD
    I think that the way mainstream media doesn’t report the full truth all the time is horrible. I think that the fault goes to both the news organizations and to the individual journalists as well. The organizations have a responsibility to make money. This gives them an incentive to spend less on international news coverage and to try and make things as exciting as possible by not telling all aspects of the news. The individual journalists have the most responsibility to make sure that the American public gets the truth since they are the only ones with access to it. Unless we want to be uneducated about what is going on in other parts of the world we must show the media organizations that we are more interested than they seem to think we are. Only then will they be willing to do more to give us the full story in the future.
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterblogsarefun2006
    Very interesting indeed is the way the media decides for us all what is deemed worthy news. It seems like everyday we get flooded with more information than we can handle and who is to say that the new being reported is the news that is most relevant and pertinent to our own lives. It also blows my mind about the conflict in the Congo. While I was aware of the conflict I never knew how huge the fighting had become. What an enormous death toll. It just goes to show that we do follow our own tails the rest of the world aside. Good Stuff.
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered Commentermcbeaver9
    This blog is interesting because just last night I was reading an article in Self magazine concerning the Bird Flu and America. The article focused on how the disease would affect Americans and only lightly touched on the state of the rest of the world. The media is concerned with the current world “super-power”. If Americans are in the area or are going to be greatly affected by the situation, then obviously we want to read about it. Most young people (teens—early thirties) are so preoccupied with getting ahead in today’s world that they simply don’t care about anything that does not directly affect them or have an impact on their immediate surroundings. The media knows this. In the race for ratings and readership the media understands they must give the news that the people will want to read. For example, undernourished children in Cambodia are only interesting when Angelina Jolie adopts another child from the region or goes to volunteer with those children. Overall, I think the media needs to realize that the world as a whole needs to be covered, not only what concerns Americans.
    January 25, 2006 | Unregistered Commentertexasbelle311
    I agree that the media isn’t always trustworthy with the news they report or don’t report. In today’s day and age, we (or at least most of us) want to know what is going on, not just in our community, but in the world. But since we cannot travel around the world and see for ourselves what is happening, we must rely on the news and the media to inform us. Because of this, it is their responsibility to give us a true account of the goings on in other places. Deciding what is important for us to know about and what details aren’t, isn’t their place. As with the Bird Flu news, the smallest detail might prove the most valuable information for someone. We should be able to trust that the news we are receiving is not biased and truely keeps us well informed.
    January 27, 2006 | Unregistered Commentersparrow
    In my opinion I feel that the media never shows the real deal on anything. No matter who you are or where you live, the news should be the one place that you know exactly what is going on in the world. What is the point in watching the news then?
    The people living in the areas affected by the bird flu should know the specific areas to stay away from. Not having that appropriate knowledge could cost someone or many thier lives. If we cannot listen to the news and trust that they are giving us, as a whole, all of the inside scoop then what else do we go to?
    February 7, 2006 | Unregistered Commentermac48

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