Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Very Small Village

I woke up this morning to the news on Radio Live, a national radio news station here in New Zealand. Normally, an internet jazz station wakes me but this morning I wasn't in my own bed and had to make do with the station that was tuned on the clock radio. You see I make a point of avoiding the New Zealand mainstream news media and the early morning news report today reminded me why. 

There was the usual petty political bickering - we are in the midst of an election campaign after all - and an article about a fatal road accident somewhere down south, and a story about a kitten caught up a tree (or something similar - I forget the exact details), and then it was straight on to the sport.

You would never know, if you relied on the local New Zealand media, that the world was agog with stories of great achievements and great horrors. You wouldn't know there was a worsening Ebola epidemic in Africa or that the hideous thugs from the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) had decapitated an American journalist the day before, or that the militarised police in Ferguson, Missouri thought the appropriate response to a protest march was to use Iraq War surplus tanks and M16s against their fellow townspeople. You also wouldn't hear of the wonderful achievement of the scientists behind the comet-chasing Rosetta spacecraft, the fastest vehicle mankind has ever built, that set off in 2004 to fly beyond Jupiter so it could circle back and chase down Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, finally arriving in the last few days and sending back spectacular close-up pictures of a strange and wonderful alien world.

New Zealand might as well be a very small village as far as its mainstream media are concerned. Our news is mostly 'village pump' stuff. I suppose that in a crazy world we should be grateful for the peaceful country we live in. It would be nice, however, to hear about what's going on in the world.


James Noble said...

I woke up this morning to the news on Radio Live,

Or you could have listened to Morning Report.

They covered almost all of those stories this morning, and have covered the others (Rosetta) earlier. But it's OK. You can listen to everything they broadcast whenever you like, back to 2008.

And, for what it's worth, they even interviewed John Ansell - who was damning about Labour's ads and very pleased with National's.

Mark Hubbard said...

Hah. I always start the morning off with Concert Program's Classic Morning. Cleansing the palate before the dirt of politics and world news starts filtering through.