If you want to know what is happening in the world….

If you want to know what is happening in the world, don’t follow the news. News media nowadays is more about entertainment — attracting eyeballs — than about information. There is more coverage of Kim Kardashian’s sex life than analysis of major events. And if it bleeds it leads — the more shocking a story, the more eyeballs it will attract. Television and newspapers are full of coverage of the recent Paris attacks. The media and terrorism have evolved a mutually beneficial relationship.

Information on the other hand is boring and does not sell newspapers.

According to the WHO 153,000 people died yesterday. Most were from non-communicable diseases (104,000) with cardiovascular disease the top cause of death (20,000 from ischemic heart disease and 18,000 from stroke). Of the 33,500 deaths yesterday from communicable diseases, HIV accounted for 4000, the same number as diarrhoea, tuberculosis 2500 and malaria a paltry 1200. There were 13500 deaths from injury, the leading cause being road accidents (3500). Death from terrorism, fortunately, is too insignificant to even deserve a mention in the WHO tables.

Eradication of diarrhoea would have far greater impact than eradication of terrorism (which causes about 90 deaths/day according to a recent article in the SMH). And potable drinking water costs far less than bombs and missiles. Unfortunately it just doesn’t get enough media coverage to warrant attention.

….extracted from a discussion on Terror and Publicity.

3 thoughts on “If you want to know what is happening in the world….

  1. Marc says:

    “Reality is often stranger than fiction”… is’nt it?
    By the way, as well as do all the Series of 007 Saga, the cited Bond movie was “revealing” what’s “already” going on and not just forecasting what’s gonna happen.
    We’re not through yet (I guess) with the growing insanity of mankind!
    Might Heavens have mercy of those who refuse to follow the trend!

  2. frankaquin0 says:

    “The media and terrorism have evolved a mutually beneficial relationship.”

    Goodness me – I hadn’t thought about it in those terms before. It’s amazing how a few words can change so much perspective.

    In biological terms “mutually beneficial” often evolves into “wholly dependent upon” – like our own cells and mitochondria; bacteria in our gut; or cellulose-loving protozoans in termites. We’re already seeing this dependency trend as more of SBS’s one hour time slot is devoted to terrorism (and therefore less time is available for other news). If that trend continues, eventually all the world’s reporters will end up as anarchist-chasers hoping for that “big story”, while anarchists will work had at providing it.

    Once the media and the terrorists morph into each other I wonder what will happen – will the terrorist swap his gun for a camera, or will the journalist swap his camera for a gun? Or perhaps they’ll just work side-by-side, as Peter Gretse was accused of doing. I guess it will depend on which creates the most benefit of the combined mutation.
    Wow! The Bond movie “Tomorrow Never Dies” might turn out to be true after all.

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