Recently have been thinking through the issue of how and where you absorb information and how this influences your perception of events. What options are even out there: Al Jazeera? BBC? CNN? Fox News? Why does it even matter?
Today I had an interesting experience. I was sitting in an undergrad classroom waiting for our professor to arrive and the students began talking about Barack Obama and Recep Erdogan and the results of their talk yesterday at the meeting of the United Nations in NYC. Most of the discussion was going on in Turkish and so I was only picking up bits and pieces. Then someone decided to translate it into English for the various international students. The common view of these students was:
“The new leaders of the Middle East, Barack Obama and Recep Erdogan.”
Where do ideas like this come from? Why did these students frame it in this way? I think that the perspective of the media whereby we receive information shapes our feelings towards particular events.
I’ve noticed this particularly as an American currently living abroad and watching and reading material from a different perspective than I am accustomed to. Recently, I’ve been watching much more Al Jazeera because it is about the only reliable English news channel available to me. I’ve noticed subtle differences in perspective for myself as I watch media from a different stance.
One of the benefits of new media is that it gives almost universal access to media coverage and, if the consumer so chooses, to read from a wide variety of sources. How active are you in reading from different perspectives?
- Turkey Considers Sanctions Against Syria (foxnews.com)
- US, Turkey pledge cooperation (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Obama lauds new era of global diplomacy at U.N. (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
- Recep Tayyip Erdogan: Arab hero? | Khaled Diab (guardian.co.uk)
- U.S. Emphasizes Common Ground With Turkey (online.wsj.com)