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I think the media's job is to provide a narrative and context -- whenever we present a set of facts, we're telling a story. Without narrative, everything's just a blob of isolated facts.
In my view, this lack of either narrative or context is one of the big problems. They tell personal stories sometimes. They allow the political propagandists to tell their false stories, but otherwise they just report certain things out of context and the facts have little meaning.
I've actually been writing a post about this as it applies to Latin America. We've had all these isolated reports -- uprisings in Bolivia and Ecuador, the back and forths with Chavez, removing Venezuela from our "compliant" category in the drug prohibition, Chavez moving his money to Europe -- it goes on and on, but what story is it telling?
Is it the story of an oppressed continent throwing off it's chains and being inspired by a good-hearted leader? Is it the story of a wiley dictator stirring up rebellion? Is it a build up to war or purely a political story? What do all these moves mean and are they connected?
You probably know more in Europe than we do here. Our press isn't connecting any of these dots. In one week we learned (if we were paying very close attention) that Ecuador ousted their president and we also knew our gas prices went up. And everyone heard about Pat Robertson calling for the assassination of Chavez.
But the press never told the story -- that Ecuador's uprising shut down oil production. That they're one of our largest importers and the prices immediately went up. That Chavez supported this move and Pat Robertson's remarks came the next day.
Anyway, all this to say I think telling stories is vital, but agree that the way the media has been doing it or not doing it is currently flawed.
Maybe we can eventually make language a complete impediment to understanding. -Hobbes
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