American hedonism closes its eyes to death, and has been
incapable of exorcising the destructive power of the moment
with a wisdom like that of the Epicureans of antiquity.

- Octavio Paz
Death is un-American, and an affront to every citizen's inalienable
right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

- Arnold Toynbee
the_band_huge
the_band_huge
"As long as such self-serving hypocrisy
motivates America's response, Ukraine will
only sink further into needless bloodshed,
and that blood will be on America's head."
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
the_band_huge
In America everybody is of the opinion that he has no social superiors,
since all men are equal, but he does not admit that he has no social inferiors,
for, from the time of Jefferson onward, the doctrine that all men are equal
applies only upwards, not downwards.

― Bertrand Russell
Global Coke
Global Coke
"What those 'racists' are reflexively and rightly reacting
to is the soulless chill as the fire goes out beneath the
melting pot. Those who think America can thrive as a
'cultural mosaic' are worse than fools; they're Canadians."

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Global Coke
Two centuries ago, a former European colony decided to catch up with Europe.
It succeeded so well that the United States of America became a monster,
in which the taints, the sickness and the inhumanity of Europe
have grown to appalling dimensions.

― Frantz Fanon
What the United States does best is understand itself.
What it does worst is understand others.

- Carlos Fuentes
Poor Mexico, so far from God
and so close to the United States.

- Porfirio Diaz
the_band_huge
the_band_huge
"Indeed, everything about the American southland was magical
and exotic to the young Canadian musicians, from the sights
and smells to the drawling manner of speech to, especially, the
central role that music played in people’s everyday lives."

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
the_band_huge
America is a mistake, a giant mistake.
- Sigmund Freud
America is an adorable woman chewing tobacco.
- Auguste Bartholdi
chimerica
chimerica
"This is the tone of the China Century, a subtle
mix of Nazi/Soviet bravado and 'oriental'
cunning -- easily misunderstood, and
never
heard before, in a real enemy, by the West."

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
chimerica
Coke and 'America the Beautiful'
Coke and 'America the Beautiful'
"And for the others who argued for English-only
patriotism, I note that there are more than
57 million Americans (about 20% of the nation)
whose first-language is not English...."

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Coke and 'America the Beautiful'
predator-firing-missile4
predator-firing-missile4
"This is the behavior, and the fate, of paranoid
old-world tyrants like Hitler or Saddam, not liberal new-world democracies like America pretends to be."

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
predator-firing-missile4
America is the only nation in history which
miraculously has gone directly from barbarism to
degeneration without the usual interval of civilization.

- Georges Clemenceau
I found there a country with thirty-two religions and only one sauce.
- Charles–Maurice Talleyrand
A people who are still, as it were, but in the gristle,
and not yet hardened into the bone of manhood.

- Edmund Burke
America is the only country ever founded on the printed word.
- Marshall McLuhan
"The removal of racist sports nicknames (and mascots) seems outrageously belated
-- why, exactly, has this civil rights cause
taken so long to gain momentum?"

JOIN THE DISCUSSION
The atom bomb is a paper tiger which the
United States reactionaries use to scare people.
It looks terrible, but in fact it isn't.

- Mao Tse-tung
They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but
they kept only one; they promised to take our land, and they did.

- Red Cloud
In America sex is an obsession,
in other parts of the world it is a fact.

- Marlene Dietrich
I would rather have a nod from an American,
than a snuff-box from an emperor.

- Lord Byron
One day the United States discovered it was an empire.
But it didn’t know what an empire was.
It thought that an empire was merely the biggest of all corporations.

- Roberto Calasso
Americans are so enamored of equality, they would rather
be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.

- Alexis de Tocqueville
newtown
newtown
"No one, I thought, could watch those scenes, of young children slaughtered en masse, and so many parents grieving, without thinking that this, finally, would tip some kind of balance in the country."
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
newtown
If you are prepared to accept the consequences of your dreams
then you must still regard America today with the same naive
enthusiasm as the generations that discovered the New World.

- Jean Baudrillard
I am willing to love all mankind, except an American.
- Samuel Johnson
America, thou half brother of the world;
With something good and bad of every land.

- Philip Bailey
"What can be more powerful than disinformation in the Information Age?"
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
England and America are two countries separated by the same language.
- Sir Walter Besant
Christopher Columbus, as everyone knows, is honored by
posterity because he was the last to discover America.

- James Joyce
Now, from America, empty indifferent things
are pouring across, sham things, dummy life.

- Rainer Maria Rilke
If the United States is to recover fortitude and lucidity,
it must recover itself, and to recover itself it must
recover the "others"- the outcasts of the Western world.
- Octavio Paz
The youth of America is their oldest tradition.
It has been going on now for three hundred years.

- Oscar Wilde
"America really is, for most Americans, all things considered, a good place to be, and all they really want is for everyone to enjoy the same privilege and pleasure."
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
When good Americans die they go to Paris;
when bad Americans die they go to America.

- Oscar Wilde
jobs drug dealer
jobs drug dealer
They're nothing more than traffickers; and as the smart traffickers'll tell you, you don't use the merchandise. They are just inoculating their kids with a tech-drug serum, to immunize them against the very merchandise that put the **** bowling alley in their basement.
jobs drug dealer
America is therefore the land of the future, where, in the ages that
lie before us, the burden of the World's History shall reveal itself.

- Georg Friedrich Hegel
America is a large, friendly dog in a very small room.
Every time it wags its tail, it knocks over a chair.

- Arnold Toynbee
Americans always try to do the right thing after they've tried everything else.
- Winston Churchill
The thing that impresses me most about Americans
is the way parents obey their children.

- Edward, Duke of Windsor
Americans are apt to be unduly interested in discovering
what average opinion believes average opinion to be.

- John Maynard Keynes
Europe was created by history.
America was created by philosophy.

- Margaret Thatcher
America is God's crucible, the great Melting-Pot where all the races of
Europe are melting and reforming!... The real American has not yet arrived.
He is only in the crucible, I tell you - he will be the fusion of all races.

- Israel Zangwill
American dreams are strongest in the hearts of those
who have seen America only in their dreams.

- Pico Iyer
America: It's like Britain, only with buttons.
- Ringo Starr
The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer.
It has never yet melted.

― D.H. Lawrence
I have two conflicting visions of America.
One is a kind of dream landscape and the other is a kind of black comedy.

― Bono
The American mirror, said the voice, the sad American mirror
of wealth and poverty and constant useless metamorphosis,
the mirror that sails and whose sails are pain.

― Roberto Bolaño

May 11, 2021

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Author Topic: Narrowness of American Media


Kevin-
Orant
Novice Their American
Posts: 6
Narrowness of American Media
on: November 19, 2013, 14:18

One thing I could not help but notice when visiting America was the amazing narrowness of its media. When you search through the different news channels, there is very little reporting on world affairs, and what IS reported is very narrow, and very American-centered. And, of course, when you turn to a virtual propaganda network like Fox News, you find something even worse: almost no news of non-American topics, and a ridiculous pro-American bias on anything that IS reported.
If America is indeed to start listening to the world and understanding it -- and I don't mean just the spy agency's kind of listening (ha ha) -- it needs to get BETTER MEDIA. I don't know how exactly this could happen (thank you again, Their America, for doing your small part!), but I am pleased to see that AlJazeera, at least, is now being broadcast to (some) Americans and is therefore making the world known to it in some ways.
What do others think about this? How could better media be encouraged?



Kim D
New Member
Posts: 2
Re: Narrowness of American Media
on: December 10, 2013, 16:27

I've heard this proposal before (but the idea, it seems, hasn't taken off): what America needs is for one of its multi-billionaires to fund a non-profit, genuinely news-focused network (with complete, or nearly complete, independence from corporate sponsorship). That gift would be at least as great for America, and for the world, as anything done so far by philanthropists such as Bill and Melinda Gates.



Malcom-
White
Veteran Their American
Posts: 21
Re: Narrowness of American Media
on: January 6, 2014, 12:43

There already is (sort of) one--though much more along the lines of grassroots American 'public broadcasting' than some billionaire patron's gift to anybody: http://www.democracynow.org, hosted by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez. It's completely funded by contributions from viewers and foundations, and accepts no advertisers, corporate underwriting or government funding.
It has a pretty heavy left-wing take on things, but in its constant inclusion of non-American voices on America, it seems a fair approximation to Kim's idea--and a nice complement to this site!



Aminah-
Hayek
Experienced Their American
Posts: 17
Re: Narrowness of American Media
on: January 15, 2014, 11:59

In some ways, I think this notion of the "narrowness of American media" is itself suffering from a too narrow view of media, in the online global village. Americans have all the media access they need or could ever wish for, if what they wished for was genuine understanding of other peoples.
Build your philanthropic CNN, and those 57 people who will actually choose to view it, out of the 1,000 channels and infinite downloads customized to their every inclination, will already be viewing its contents on websites, blogs, forums and other easily available media sources currently available.
In other words, what America lacks is not the means to listen, but the will. And this may best be encouraged not through more media but less, not more sound but silence.



Malcom-
White
Veteran Their American
Posts: 21
Re: Narrowness of American Media
on: February 18, 2014, 09:00

Hear, hear, Aminah!
The question then becomes: How does such an infernally noisy nation win silence?
Or rather, how does such a nation, in the almost total absence of any deep (I want to say religious) discipline capable of resisting the purveyors and profiteers of noise, win silence?
Got me.
In such a culture, silence feels like a vacuum, and the only thing that abhors a vacuum more than nature is a corporation.
Add to this, that America as a nation is, in most respects, still firmly mired in adolescence; and we all know how easy and useful it is to take things away from adolescents.
So maybe, add something that induces silence, the silence of observation, reflection, meditation, and perhaps resolution...for more silence!
A government-mandated daily dose of DemocracyNow! in school classrooms, like we used to sing God Save the Queen each morning here in Canada--with, of course, some right-wing vehicle to soothe the Lindbecks--broadening the scope of the notorious American 'civics' to include civic responsibility to the world?
This much at least seems certain: as long as the grassroots of America are mostly weeds and opiates, there will be no grassroots solution to this most fundamental problem.



Dima-
Filatov
Experienced Their American
Posts: 16
Re: Narrowness of American Media
on: March 17, 2014, 11:45

For all its noise and superficial variety, the American media is essentially no different from Pravda; it merely has a more complex and subtle ideology to promulgate. Proof? The leaders and parties change, the media argues this way and that, with ever greater vehemence and ever more information, but America's behavior toward the the world remains essentially unchanged from the Nixon era. If the supposed 'freedom' of the American media made any fundamental difference, America too would be free. But it is merely a slave to its own manufactured desires, and the sound of its media is the sound of slave songs rising from the fields at night.



Mike-
Langston
Veteran Their American
Posts: 42
Re: Narrowness of American Media
on: March 17, 2014, 13:15

I can't say I agree that "the American media is essentially no different than Pravda": Fox News, for sure, is clearly a propaganda network, pushing a pre-determined interpretation of every story, but CNN, for instance, at least makes an effort to sponsor debate and give marginal voices some airtime (though obviously there are some things -- capitalism, American exceptionalism, etc.-- that aren't open for debate). But I agree that the mainstream media are (and, because of their intended audience, have to be) narrow. I don't have any hope for the broadening of that media's interests on any grand scale, but I am encouraged by the rise of small, independent outlets which offer genuine alternatives to "slave songs rising from the fields at night." One example is Indian Country Today (http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/), which not only provides what Amineh calls the "means" to listen to non-mainstream perspectives, but also encourages, because of the quality of its content, the "will" to listen better. Check it out!



Dima-
Filatov
Experienced Their American
Posts: 16
Re: Narrowness of American Media
on: March 27, 2014, 11:57

What is media supposed to do, Mike?
It's supposed to be a medium between the truth of the world and us. It mediates the world for us.
Now, if Americans are accessing the truth of the world through their media, but don't change, keep making the same stupid harmful mistakes in the world, over and over, you have two ugly choices: the American media is finally not a media of truth, or Americans are unchangeable.
Me, I prefer not to give up on Americans that way.



Anna-
Blazhko
Experienced Their American
Posts: 16
Re: Narrowness of American Media
on: April 19, 2014, 14:02

I just came across a huge and already existing version of Mike's idea: New American Media, a combination of 2,000 ethnic media organizations, bringing the (other) world to America and America to the world.
The Voice of (Their) America!
http://newamericamedia.org/



liz.k
Novice Their American
Posts: 5
Re: Narrowness of American Media
on: November 24, 2014, 19:58

This conversation is interesting and I have a different take on it myself. Although I do agree that the American media is narrow, I do not think it is wrong for being so. I believe that the American media is narrow in part due, are reflective of American life itself. In other words, "the medium is the message" type deal. I believe that people can be too critical of the messenger sometimes. Although I do believe American media perpetuates a very narrow perspective through its media, the reason for this lies in the ideological foundations of American/Western society. In short, the media in America is nothing to blame individually out of context, it is however a consequence and a reflection of those who control the vast majority of society and, therefore, have the largest influence on others. In the American paradigm, money equals power; this is a small yet powerful group. In a sense it is ironic that the majority although large in social and monetary capital is in fact a minority itself. It is interesting in the case of capitalism, to then re-examine the terms "minority" and "majority" in accordance with context.



simpson
Novice Their American
Posts: 8
Re: Narrowness of American Media
on: November 24, 2014, 22:53

So the primary complaint here is that domestic news reports primarily on domestic news? Am I understanding that right? That's the entire point of a domestic news operation. Institutions large enough, and flush with enough cash, have bureau chiefs around the globe, but those are only the top of the top tier, like The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, ABC News, NBC News, or CBS News. In presentation, those institutions are still going to focus on domestic news because that's their mandate. Their purpose is to report on events at home. If news-worthiness warrants, they'll lead with global news coverage, but otherwise reporting on the US is what they're there to do.



connorwhea-
ton
New Member
Posts: 3
Re: Narrowness of American Media
on: November 27, 2014, 00:13

I know very little about American Media aside from the brief glimpses I got from travelling through the U.S. Growing up without a T.V or internet for most of my young life, it's strange to think of the influence the media has over the population. With the rise of social media however, many opinions about topics in current American are shot through news feeds or timelines with Godspeed. What is shown however is most times convoluted and biased and often not telling the whole story or presenting "facts" that don't quite add up. My question is, how can such a powerful force, like the U.S media, exert the power it does over the nation (and many parts of the world) if the information they present isn't always fact based or biased?



trmccuaig
New Member
Posts: 3
Re: Narrowness of American Media
on: November 30, 2014, 21:38

Although I am not American, it's very easy to view American news in Canada. Even when many news outlets do report on world issues, it can appear to be american propaganda. Even somewhere like CNN, a news outlet I think we all believed we could trust has proven over the last few years to be biased and even slightly ignorant. This is especially true when they report on the "War on Terror". Commonly when reporting on middle eastern countries, it ends up acting as propaganda on the "war on terror". About a month ago CNN was Reza Aslan was asked to comment on the nature of Islam and ISIS and pointed out much of the bias in the CNN and America's biased view of Islam. Here is the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzusSqcotDw



ZTownsend
Novice Their American
Posts: 5
Re: Narrowness of American Media
on: December 3, 2014, 07:50

I agree that the news stations in America are incredibly self-centered, but as Mike brought up, they have to be. The problem is that these news stations are owned by corporations and not non-profit organizations, and they consequently must focus on their own corporate interests (and those of their advertisers too!) - this is why I think that news channels like Fox News are intentionally biased. Fox News caters to conservative Americans who want to hear the information selectively, and they have achieved great success using this approach. People don't want to hear about the world around them and will not tune in to hear about what's going on a world away.

Here's a side-note as far as TV goes: I think that channels like HBO are a step in the right direction. Although obviously left-leaning, and still very much a corporation, HBO has absolutely no advertising and thus gives its commentators free reign over what they discuss.



themorning
New Member
Posts: 2
Re: Narrowness of American Media
on: December 3, 2014, 16:33

Aminah made an excellent point when stating that Americans lacked not the means, but the will to seek out accurate and non-sensationalized news. Television networks are slaves to their ratings and as such will conform to the lowest common denominator, picking and choosing stories that have been twisted for the purposes of entertainment. This is not so different in Canada. It is simply a matter of taking an interest in the world around you and searching for non-biased sources of news. Oftentimes people simply do not know what to look for since they are rarely exposed to the issues underlying modern conflicts. Despite all this I think there is a promising trend towards seeking information through third party sources such as the personal blogs of reporters or using foreign news outlets such as RT.



jacyfuller-
ton
Novice Their American
Posts: 5
Re: Narrowness of American Media
on: December 4, 2014, 11:15

I agree with the idea that American media does not do justice in reporting on events that happen throughout the world. They are so focused as a patriotic nation on the things that are happening in their own backyards that it can sometimes make them blind to what is happening in the nations around them. Yes, perhaps they do have a lot of important news to cover, as they are a very large nation with a large population. However, that does not mean that many of them should be ignorant to what is going on in other countries around them. Most Canadians are well-aware of situations that happen in the US due to our extensive coverage on local news stations as well as social media, and we sympathize with them. It is not so much lack of coverage of Canadian issues that prevent Americans from knowing what is going on north of them, I suppose, but rather ignorance. Canadians are typically seen as inferior to Americans, and because of this they do not take as much interest in our media as we do in theirs.



Nicole
Novice Their American
Posts: 8
Re: Narrowness of American Media
on: November 5, 2015, 15:28

I must agree that the American Media is somewhat narrow sighted and tends to focus only on its own issues. I would add that it is often very one-sided and only provides the argument that it wants to make with no other possibilities. In other words, American Media tells the stories it wants to tell, through the view point that best propagates its own values and beliefs. While it is not only the American Media that is guilty of this, it is one of the most serious offenders. As numerous previous comments on this topic have pointed out, the American Media appears to be unconcerned with issues that affect other cultures, as it apparently does not pertain to them. This is unfortunate because it reduces the sense of global community that is already so hard to achieve. American news is reported in various countries around the world, yet they receive very little news from anywhere else in the world. In my opinion this odd binary is a serious oversight. In order to a world leader one must actually know what is going on in the world. Furthermore, one must be given all the information so that they can create their own unbiased opinions, instead of simply repeating the (often heavily biased) version of the story that they have been told. Frankly, the lack of global information present in the American Media is a little disconcerting, especially given their role as a leading influence on the global world.



AlishaP
Novice Their American
Posts: 9
Re: Narrowness of American Media
on: November 30, 2015, 22:57

Visiting NYC this year, I can agree that Americans are exposed to a narrowed media. This medium is filtered and very selective. There are only certain things that are reported on and those that are, all revolve around America in some way. Watching Fox News, I was shocked by the some of the bias shown in interviews and their “Pro-America” stance. Standing in Times Square, I also realized that there were not any large billboards advertising news like I would see in the movies. To me, that was a shock as well. Wouldn’t one of the busiest places in the world give information about what is going on outside? They are so into their own country and themselves, they do not know much about the world about them. They do not know much about Canada or our news, yet we know so much about what is going on there. Our own media is influenced by them… I feel as if I know more about President Obama, than I do with PM Trudeau. Personally, this lack of information and knowledge is very alarming for a country that is viewed as “supreme”.



A.C.-
Charles
Experienced Their American
Posts: 19
Re: Narrowness of American Media
on: December 5, 2015, 22:33

Let me just say:

Although the mainstream media does provide repetitive, condensed, exaggerated, flashy, stories to the viewers, that is-to a degree-their job. Mainstream media is intended to inform the public on popular headlines in a concise fashion. They add the flash elements in efforts to get people's attention. As a result, mainstream media is often ridiculed for not providing substantial, intriguing information. However, it is the choice of the viewer to repetitively rely on these mainstream media outlets. If we truly desired to be informed with significant information, shouldn't we make the effort to seek out reliable sources and engaging stories? Shouldn't we make the choice to only use the mainstream media as a starting guide (for the insightful stories they would, on occasion, cover-depending on then popularity of it)?The media is not to blame, we have the choice of channeling them out if we truly want to.

M.T. Anderson's novel, Feed sheds light on this issue with Violet's choices. In a futuristic world, Violet attempts to avoid the meretricious, mainstream information. When she reaches her demise, her ex-boyfriend, realizes the harm of a superficial, negligent world. Hopefully we won't find ourselves in such an ironic situation-but that is our choice.



Kristina-
Vassilieva
Novice Their American
Posts: 8
Re: Narrowness of American Media
on: December 7, 2015, 22:04

Going off of what Malcolm was saying about the will to listen, American culture is a culture of distractions. Social media, sitcoms, magazines contribute to the heaping up of useless garbage that clouds people's minds. Why face the problems of the world when you can live vicariously through a celebrity or update your instagram and bask in the glory of acquired likes forever? This problem is on the rise in the world, and although social media can be a great platform for activism and inducing social change it is far too greatly misused for egocentric purposes. We need to review the uses of our technology and ensure that our mediums for communication don't actually hinder our communication and make us more detached and indifferent to each other by reducing our quality of interactions.If people put their phones down more, they would have more room for thought and clarity. And more strength and interest to get into what is the truth and what isn't. More would get done.



MonikaPecz-
ko
Novice Their American
Posts: 8
Re: Narrowness of American Media
on: March 28, 2016, 01:33

The media in itself, as portrayed on television, and especially by Fox News is definitely narrow. But this "narrowness" is not unique to American media and culture, it features in many countries. Canadian media outlets too have a tendency to focus on their own issues, though lately we are being treated to an overexposure of Trump. However, we can all choose to broaden our exposure. We do not need to tune in to American outlets or American-focused sources exclusively. The internet has almost made our range of vision limitless. Of course there is a bias to almost everything we read, but there is barely a limit to the different sources we can now access. I completely agree with Aminah-Hayek,

Quote from Aminah Hayek on January 15, 2014, 11:59
In other words, what America lacks is not the means to listen, but the will. And this may best be encouraged not through more media but less, not more sound but silence.

This is definitely what needs to change. Not only in Americans, but in the Western world as whole. Trump is a prime example of this. We narrow our vision to Trump because he is loud, flashy, horrible, and certainly successful at drawing the world's attention. Turning your back on media outlets that would overexpose you to this horror will certainly help you in escaping the "narrowness" of the media. We need merely find the will to do this, and explore our other options. Turning off Fox News would be a great start.



jennynicol-
le
Novice Their American
Posts: 8
Re: Narrowness of American Media
on: March 31, 2016, 14:06

It is evident that the coverage of American media is very limited on what they publicize. News coverage on Fox and CNN cover majority of domestic issues and rarely shed light on more important global issues/catastrophes. Jacyfullerton made some excellent points, in regards to American media do not do the justice to report events throughout the world. Either they lack the empathy to cover more important issues, not degrading any domestic issues American societies may face but it hinders even the slightest awareness that should be brought to people's attention. For example, in 2014 the Balkan flood, that brought devastation to many southern countries in Europe caused unfathomable damage to over the countries and left many people dead. The estimated cost from the repercussions amounted to billions of dollars. Many of the Slavic countries are not economically stable to begin with and covering a story like this would've brought awareness throughout north America and also opened up area for people to donate and send care packages for many people in need. This is a prime example where news coverage fall short and is a big portion of what news coverage is suppose to be about. American news outlets only covers niche areas of issues. The create a perception for people on how to think and what to think. Thus, limiting peoples surroundings to drawing they're own hypothesis and conclusion from what they truly know.

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