Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Media myopia: Libya yes but Japan, Yemen and others too (NHK live feed)

Media myopia: Defined as going to a news aggregator of 20 different global sources and finding
few if any headlines on the Japanese crisis and the unfolding civil war in Yemen

In the typically myopic fashion of the of the media, Libya takes center stage although it is certainly not alone there!

While there is no question that the action over and within Libya is big news for any number of reasons, it needs to be remembered that there are other critical stories and events taking place in the world at the same time. As is the wont of the media, however, it is focused more on the IT story of the day (qualifier: not all).

Remember the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear reactor crisis in Japan? How about the humanitarian crisis that exists as bodies can't be buried, people have little or no food and water and hundreds of thousands no shelter. Add to that the uncertainty about the true story of radiation and the veracity of the Japanese government.

In Yemen that country continues to slide closer to civil war along with all of the implications that implies. As an example Brent Crude is trading at $116 due to the instability.

Because of the media difficulty in multi-tasking, I am providing some very recent headlines on Japan and Yemen.

Speaking about myopic though, here are some of my Libya questions

  • Did the President have the authority to engage the country in a no-fly zone over Libya without Congressional approval when the criteria of such a move was certainly not met?
  • Why was the Arab League, NATO and the United Nations consulted and given the decision-making responsibility?
  • Facing the huge daily costs to the U.S. in money and risk to our military, see above!
  • Why was the supposed coalition of nations for the action that was so critical to have so flimsy and unreal?
  • Why did the French take the lead and not the United States?
  • Why was the President in South America at the time of this crisis along with others?
  • What is the strategy and endgame for Libya?
  • Why is the President vacillating between calling this a mission to prevent a humanitarian tragedy and to effect regime change?
  • If for humanitarian reasons in Libya, why not then in other countries?
  • How is is possible that anyone could make former President make Jimmy Carter look good?
  • Why are Russia, China, Germany, Turkey and others not on board and why did the Arab League, on-board prior jump ship after?
  • Etc.
Japan and Yemen to name just two?

While the media focuses most of its energy on the flavor of the moment, let's not forget that other, maybe even more critical global events are hot right now as well. Here are some recent headlines:

"Tokyo tap water unsafe for infants" - VOA
"U.S. halts food imports, Tokyo water contaminated" - Reuters
"Three large earthquakes strike off Japan" - Herald Sun
"Looting reported by desperate survivors" - The Telegraph
"IAEA concerned about possible leak at Fukushima Reactor number one" - M&C
"Oil rises as unrest escalates in Yemen" - Calgary Herald
"Yemen on brink of bloody civil war" - Vancouver Sun
"US, Saudis lead Yemen to civil war" - PressTV
"Brent steady near $116, supply fears simmer with Yemen" - Reuters Africa

For current information on the Japanese crisis, this is a realtime feed from NHK News

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