Chapter 12: Global Integration and Global Prospects
INTERNATIONAL NEWS In the developed countries public awareness about the remainder of the world is falling away. Just when the global economy has been becoming more integrated than at any time since before the First World War, less and less interest has been shown in foreign news. During the 1990s, television offerings by major networks in the so-called ‘Anglo-Saxon’ countries were cut back. Sometimes they were reduced to little more than headlines and stories of scandal and tragedy keenly interesting to the participants but of little wider importance. The personalities of announcers have become selling points. Even the BBC World Service competes for listeners by filling time on air with popular entertainment. It is barely a coincidence that the United Nations has established a roster of singers and actors to promote its causes. Expertise about global problems has taken a back seat in favour of being a ‘star’ - and ‘stars’, adroitly sensing public taste, tend to endorse fashionable and sometimes dubious remedies for the world’s ills. ‘Better Red than Expert’, as an older slogan had it. Seriousness admittedly still persists on German and Japanese news channels, and round-the-clock reporting, like that on CNN, has become widely available. Yet it is said with some justice that the most attentive audience for information about international affairs is among business people, who have wider markets at stake than before. The general public shows less concern about the plight of foreigners and aid has fallen as a percentage of national budgets. Among the...
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