Sunday, September 25, 2011

Information Overload: The 21st Century Version of Media Plurality at 5 in the Morning

I'll be honest, technology has actually made media plurality a wonderful thing. Before I had received my laptop three years ago and connected to the internet, I was content on listening to NHK World on shortwave and reading the New London Day in it's newspaper form when the high school had spare copies. I was growing up and content with the news I received from them; NHK gave me a global outlook on news while the Day's Regional and Daybreak gave me my local scoop from the police logs to Dear Amy.

In today's news media landscape, I'm grateful for the laptop. Each morning it's Al Jazeera English, The Guardian (UK Version), BBC, France 24, CBC (especially their radio programs), RT, and the local Patch and Day websites. It wasn't necessarily in this order and it wasn't always the same websites each morning.

Sometimes, the news can be hard to read when the coffee is just starting to kick in. Take Wadah Khanfar's decision to step down from being Al Jazeera's Director General for example. I had read this during one of my morning news routines. And then there's this (courtesy of RT)...


At this point, it was hard to know who was right or wrong and the clear fact was this: speculation at 5 in the morning is not a fun exercise. I had posted this video to my Facebook profile and I added...

"An even better idea: have a Listening Post (or a stand alone documentary) program with journalists from the network speak out, like the one in the video with this article."

After that posting I actually thought about this slightly when I didn't have my nosed pinned to my Psychology textbook or reciting Spanish vocabulary in my head (the latter I really enjoy doing). Al Jazeera English had a series of documentaries about the events Post 9/11 (under 9/11 Programmes*) which seemed to contradict the cables the reports mentioned. 


So who's right and wrong? That can't be defined at 5am...media plurality is brilliant, but only when I'm awake. 


*Programs are not for the faint of hear as there's detailed reporting from both sides

Also, Listening Post had a program about Khanfar's decision to step down. Also, this is worth looking at from the press watchdog, Reporters Without Borders. 

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