One complaint I have about the news media is the sheer decadence of our current news, with minor 'celebrities' making headline news, horoscopes and topless models in the tabloids and the incredible laziness of the broadsheets. In truth, I think the broadsheets are worse than the tabloids. Firstly, there is the glut of 'lifestyle' pages with their associated endless lists - '10 best winter hideaways', '50 best Bush quotes', and their obsession with 'this seasons' must-do, must-have, must-see, must-cook. These newspapers give the impression that if your life should be a sort-of jigsaw puzzle of "bests". Men should be intelligent film buffs, who ski, bicycle, cook, surf, drive like James Bond, parachute, work out and who have read all of the '100 great novels', while listening to Spanish folk music, and have a collection of something gadgety ( but witty) but are not averse to a bit of a lads night after the football. Women shoud write jokey comments about how useless their 'life partners' re at fixing the car to the 'Comments' section of the feminist Women's Pages, while being great at DIY and gardening, but still like chocolate and cry at "Casablanca" and sing along (ironically now, due to 'Mamma Mia') to Abba, while volunteering in homeless centres (inbetween planning vacation to one of the '10 Places No-One Else HAs Been'), and occasional going on Peace Marches where they attack policemen (even if it is just verbally).
It's easy to dismiss these requirements that the media lay down for us, but I have to admit that I do quite often click on the '10 Best Island Getaways' link. Then I realize that a) I cannot afford it b) I dont look anywhere near as young, or beautifel as the people who occasionally are in these pictures c) I never got to the end of the '10 CD's you must own if your not to be a loser' list before realising I had given Massive Attack's 'seminal' Blue LInes away about ten years ago, and am therefore a loser. In short, the media do have an effect on how we think about ourselves.
CNN, BBC and Reuters, of course, are not the only source of news. With a little seacrhing you can get altenative views on the world, such as this one:
It is of course, the official news channel of North Korea. If you want your news with an old-fashioned flavour, this is it.
THere is also :
THis is the news channel of Kyrgyzstan, surely one of the best named countries in the world.
Somewhat unsurprisingly, the Romanian news agency pages, Govt controlled ones, that is, are dense, fact-filled and incredibly boring:
Finally, there is the news from Liberia: