Following up on my earlier post on the death of the foreign desk is this fascinating presentation by Alisa Miller, head of Public Radio International. She focuses on why the United States’ news media is showing even less about the world than ever – despite everyone professing to wanting to know more.
The most arresting fact? In US news coverage for February 2007, one story eclipsed news reports of all countries except Iraq: the death of Anna Nicole Smith. This was the same month that the IPCC released a report saying climate change is unequivocal and caused by human activity, Iran continued its nuclear enrichment program, North Korea decided to dismantle its nuclear facilities, and unrest was unabated in Afghanistan, Palestine, Pakistan, Somalia, Thailand, throughout Africa and in many other counties.
A few other important points:
- In the past few years, news networks have reduced the number of their foreign bureaus by 50%.
- There are almost no network news bureaus in all of Africa, India or South America.
Pink News also has an interesting interview with Miller, where she discusses PRI’s challenges and recent successes.