Saturday, 10 November 2012

Broad and Balanced

I had a bit of an awakening over the past few days. It seems I've been being secretly judgemental without any right. There's probably a word to describe me and it won't be complementary.

It started while I was waiting for my bacon sandwich with black pudding (thankfully, they seem not to have received the memo from my doctor). I noticed on the table an obviously popular newspaper. Surprisingly, despite the important events following the US presidential election and the Chinese Communist party conference, they had mainly gone with the existence of someone's breasts and some apparent BBC bashing. It left me wondering what kind of person would willingly admit to reading such a publication. Doubtless they would be shallow and of limited intelligence. Wouldn't they?

That evening, I was directed by Motorcycle News on Twitter to a documentary about the Isle of Mann TT. Called 'Isle of Man TT: A Most Dangerous Addiction,' it was excellently put together and presented by a typical English chap (by typical here I admit to meaning a white, middle aged, middle class bloke). However, this seemed odd as it's an Al Jazeera program.
Now, there are many things I accidentally let myself think I knew. Firstly, Al Jazeera is a news network prone to broadcasting beheading and inciting the Islamic world to jihad. Also, the people who watch the Fox news network would happily set the full force of the US military machine on anyone who has ever watched Al Jazeera. Meanwhile, people who watch the Channel 4 news (and Channel 5 for that matter) are a little like I think people who read the Daily Star must be, shallow and insular. I of course tend to get my news from the BBC who are above reproach, broad and totally balanced.

But it turns out, I don't know anything. It turns out I'm the shallow one for making judgements based on people's news providers. At the end of the program about the TT, secretly wondering why there was no obviously Islamic slant, I went onto the live feed of the Al Jazeera English channel. I caught the end of someone being hugely critical about the USA in general while summing up a discussion I otherwise missed. Then there was a great deal of coverage of current affairs across the middle east and a teaser for a program about the ordeal of refugees in Israel. Actually, it came as no surprise and was mostly what I was expecting. However, I learned about things that were happening to people that the BBC didn't tell me. I feel quite well informed about the crisis in Syria for instance. Mind you, I thought I was before.

What could I learn if I regularly got my news from other networks? What am I missing? Perhaps I need to look around. Rather than expecting my news provider to be broad and balanced, maybe I'm the one that needs to be. One thing's for sure, I'm in no position to throw the first stone and I'd better remove the plank from my eye. That said, I'm not sure I'll start broadening my horizons by reading the Daily Star just yet.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave a comment if you can. Let me know what you think. I crave feedback and human contact.