Global News

The Buddhist concept of patience differs from the Western concept in that it demands awareness instead of stoicism (i.e. patience isn’t suffering without complaint; it’s an understanding of the situation).

With this in mind, I feel that the news media are biased in any given situation; therefore, it is nearly impossible to ever fully understand the situation. But what has helped temper the information I receive and attain my own world view is an understanding of the underlying motive. The first filter I apply to everything is the reality that we do NOT live in a democracy; we live in a capitalist society with representative government. The reason I do not consider this democracy is that monetary concerns actually govern while our representative government exists within these capitalist bounds. If we accept that our society is run by the corporation of which we (the public at large) are at best minority share holders, then the reasons behind the information we receive become more apparent. Once the reasons/motives are understood, we can begin to grasp the situation. What the motives are differ by name and explanation, but they all point to money or power. And with money and power essentially being the same by Western capitalists’ standards, there’s really only one god in our current structure. So if we assume that worship of this dead god is the driving force behind every organization (including government and our society), then we get a limited view of the impetus for the information exchange we call news.

Am I completely jaded in this view? No. It’s just that it’s important to understand that the main (not the only) driver to global news isn’t to inform, it’s to make money. And when the main force is to amass money, then actions of cultural responsibility and/or altruism have no place – let alone the truth (unless of course that is what is needed to increase the bottom line). This isn’t to say that journalists are evil or are trying to squeeze every dime out of the public, it’s just the inherent sociopathic behavior of the modern businesses for which journalists work. I think journalists generally try to inform the public while upholding ethical values and the responsibilities of the fourth estate, but the attempts often get trampled or overshadowed by the huge conglomerates (e.g. News Corp., General Electric, Disney, Viacom, etc.). I don’t even think media conglomerates are evil though. They behave the same as any sociopath would – at times they might do something that’s right or even good, but the reasons behind this possible action have nothing to do with normal, culturally responsible reasoning. And since there isn’t a mechanism (i.e. our government) capable of keeping these sociopaths in check, we find ourselves bemoaning the downfall of the news media; when in actuality, the news media are doing exactly what they are in business to do.

Another important point I always try to remember is that we (the general public) are NOT the intended audience, but this might be for another time…

I’m really not a Marxist. I just wish the market wasn’t the framework and that we could use the US Constitution instead.

And the hope at the end of this? We’ll see how technology works in loosening the strangle hold business and government have on information. Maybe we really can get global news from the people instead of the corporation.