World history live is what we are told we are seeing when we see attacks of shock and awe on Baghdad, but is this so called live history exactly what we are led to believe. In the aftermath of September 11th the live broadcast news reel was exploited to maximum. Internet servers couldn’t cope with the demand and everyone was watching and waiting for an explanation or more information to what happened and why. Did this the watchers receive this?
In many cases raw emotion out does rational analysis of a situation, by the journalists and the watching public. We never see an incident as it happens, we only see the after math. So does this eliminate the idea of as it happens news into a live after math of news? So too the live press conference which is, to be honest, extremely conventional. Is live news history? For the majority it’s not surprising but very predictable. The news that we see on T. V is not about long term events but about short term processes.
Issues like deterioration of trade, exploitation and repression are often forgotten and replaced by price hikes and a few days of violence. Noticeable differences instead of long term changes dictate may news agendas. The big news companies forget that at this moment in time there are more than a dozen armed conflicts in the 2nd and 3rd world. There seems to be a vested interest in issues concerning themselves or a way of ignoring a situation that the western world is intrinsically responsible for.
Some conflicts are reported but on a much smaller scale than others. For example the recent conflict in Iraq will reach headline news when a handful of coalition soldiers hand been murdered but when the death toll in the war between Iraq and Iran was much greater is received a disproportionate amount of column inches and air time to the recent conflict with Iraq. Again the western media seem very introverted on the news selection. Away from general war reporting there is still a short sightedness in many areas of the media, for example natural disasters.
In the mid eighties when Michel Burke reported on the famine in Ethiopia, it was the first time a disaster on this scale had been seen on national television but famine has been around way before that time and also for many years after the media coverage had subdued. In some ways the media had turned the disaster into news story of the moment when the issue needed attention decades before and for decades after. The flooding in third world countries again proves the short sightedness of western news companies.
When a village in Bangladesh is wiped out due to a flood is the weather entirely to blame? No. There are a number of causes for death due to flooding which the western media constantly over look. Issues like deforestation, bad land reforms and poor families trying to live cheaply so they decide to live on a river bank. The cause could be located with poverty but how often would you here the cause of flooding was due to living conditions not due to weather. Poverty is an over cause of death when it comes to natural disasters.
For example when some citizens of Holland who live in the lowlands were to die due to flooding, which is highly unlikely, the western media would be instant in reporting the incident. The media saying that the cause of death is a natural disaster can be fundamentally flawed. It’s as if news corporations shift the blame from one area to another. So what is to blame for all this? Maybe the vision of history that is instilled into us might have something to with it.
With imperialism and expansionism ripping the world apart for nearly half a millennium do we still think as a country that we are not responsible for many tragedies today. Would the wars in Africa be raging at this very moment if we had not claimed it as ours and left it without no government and no control? For example in America they are taught from an early age that Columbus discovered America in 1492. Columbus did not discover America, he simply conquered it and then years of genocide, repression, expansion, slavery and imperialism followed.
That was the start of the imperialism and we are still feeling the effects of it. It has been said that for an American to celebrate the discovery of American is like asking a Jew to celebrate Hitler. The underlying principles of democracy and liberal attitude were based on these cruelties and the irony is that if you do not accept them you are branded as a terrorist. However responsibility should be taken for the pain imperialism has caused.