Feature: Soapbox Musings

Mainstream Media Frequently Misses Point

Author: Robert Weller
Published: December 30, 2011 at 1:52 pm
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While the mainstream U.S. media is focusing on B Roll from the North Korean funeral, some of it possibly looped to go round and round, some serious events are ignored or barely touched.

Turn to groups like Humans Rights Watch, the ICRC or Amnesty to find out about countries that don’t sell Western products or Obama doesn’t want you to know about.

Here is what is going on in Saudi Arabia:

To sum it up, all the violent politics are hardly in Syria, Yemen, China or Russia. The latter two get coverage, though mostly in Western Europe and Asia. Economic conflicts are a separate issue in some cases.

Given that most Americans couldn’t care less about other countries, it was startling to me to see the bureau of whatever the Great Navigator is called these days.

Even film crews were not visible. They apparently had been removed Stalin style, at least no unmanned feet left beind. No foreign crews were allowed to march with the goose-steppng mourners.

At the same time we heard of blood in Syria and Yemen, and political violence.

We learned nothing new of North Korea. They may be building a nuclear weapon, they may already have one.

Why was nothing said about the renewal of protests in Saudi Arabia?

“Saudi reform advocates have staged several protests since mid-December, 2011, despite a categorical ban on protests issued last March, Human Rights Watch said today. In Riyadh, Buraida, and Qatif, security forces immediately arrested the protesters, who were peacefully protesting the detention without trial of hundreds of people held for long periods in intelligence prisons.
“Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry should immediately release scores of detained and convicted peaceful advocates of reform,”Human Rights Watch said.

Part of the problem is the lack of contest. Those of us long taught to explain situations by including history have learned it is often remove or put at the bottom. Once there it disappears.

It took several days for reports from the Times of India to reach the U.S. about demanding major Internet powers to remove content that can result in racial or racial hatred.

This despite the fact that new U.S. legislation that if passed could turn the Internet into a milk run. There remains a strong strand of reporting the Indian information without exploring what it could mean elsewhere, even soon.


 
 

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Article Author: Robert Weller

Journalist for 40 years, working in 30 countries and 11 states. Mostly for AP. Coverage has included Columbine, South Africa, Alaska Pipeline, India Gandhi assassination, wars, disasters, art, PTSD, skiing, Liberia, Uganda et al. …

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