Saturday, December 6, 2014

Berlin Wall, APEC, and Ebola

I'm absolutely horrified, at the same time disgusted, by the way the APEC Summit's reportage was done in Beijing, shocking, it is a mere continuation of the saga of the standard bearers of the world's media. 

Intrigue, mystery, imperial-like melodrama, with a splash of Daily Mail-like tidbits here and there, what I witnessed was the asymptomatic overall decline of the standards (if there is still such) of the way information is filtered through the behemoths of western journalism. True, the dissenting opinion is apparent-but only from time to time, the dominant theme is that of mediocrity and myopia, dangerous clouds that affect the status quo du jour.

The week began with an epochal remembrance, the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was reported as a watershed moment for the Germans, a harbinger of the total collapse of the Iron Wall-all right. What was bothering was the lack of thinking by the reporters, and in the BBC's case (by now a signature), the open-ended questions constancy. The significance, and the meaning, of the Berlin Wall was celebrated as if it was a theatrical event. Never mind that Germany's post-Berlin Wall human rights record and its total lack of responsibility ever so prominent in its propaganda to everyone else wasn't examined. Freedom? For whom? Tell that to the victims of xenophobia inside and outside of Germany, post-1989.

What you actually see is the lack of basic inquiry by the correspondents in answering the basic question which is, "What is the state of post-reunified-Germany's freedom?" This what after all was fought for, right? Let the Syrians and Yazidis spirit (denied freedom to move) answer that for Germany, for Europe. The whole commemoration is a farcical hypocritical narcissistic misrepresentative exercise.

Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC. You should expect news from this event to be about significant achievements and pertinent information relating to this truly opulent summit. Instead, the BBC, again-this time with CNN, decides to devote more attention to the fact that the Chinese state decided to censor Putin's moment with Xi's wife by lending her his coat, is this crucial information? How about the facts relating to costs? Is it really a matter for everyone to interpolate on how much the State splashed out for this event, shouldn't it be viewed positively that the "Middle Kingdom" "a secretive state" made momentous efforts to present a "face" to the world that's truly opposite of their "natural" displeasure towards anything not of, by, from, Zhonghua (China)? Isn't it nice that a "Han-chauvinistic attitude" was forfeited via their welcoming attitude to the rest?

Let's glorify those who deserve to have their voices heard, there are a lot within these powerful organizations, subject to the people's whim of Romanesque despotic Vatican-ish systemic power tripping  who are concerned with vital information, and not with trivial childish information gathering. Managing to outmaneuver a view devoid of material and style. An immutable sign of decline.

In the time of Shakespeare, "report" meant rumor. I read it in the Merchant of Venice, as much as I adore him (along with countless others) I disagree, having been witnessed to our generation's (and the past) excellent journalism, today's unacceptable.

It's beyond obvious that these people don't have any respect for the traditions laid out by their magnificent organizations, they're beyond disgraceful, bordering on senile, cacophonous, and have an undiagnosed case of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

What happened to basic journalism, probing for the truth? Challenging the assumptions? Digging for the hidden information? Where are the Watergates? Pulitzer-worthy researches? Scathing life changing information?

Lastly, Ebola. A person's Ebola concern is proportional to that person's knowledge (or lack thereof) and is a form of racist-o-meter. Africa can handle Ebola. Africa is not Africa (Diamond in Guns, Germs, and Steel). Ebola isn't airborne. The total number of fatal cases has no match for the annual victims of seasonal flu, in the US alone. Liberia is a third world country that is developing, and yet thank goodness for a NYT reporter's notice, could achieve something truly developed, internal sovereignty-the ability of a state to command and legitimize itself within a polity. The Italians need more of this. 

As Lola Adesioye wonderfully illuminates in The Tablet:

Realistically, Americans have more chance of contracting the flu—which kills some 36,000 Americans every year and results in more than 200,000 hospitalizations—than they do of contracting Ebola.

Yet this has not stopped growing panic and hysteria, which is being fueled by ongoing sensationalism, not only about Ebola itself, but about Africa and African people.
Perhaps, the BBC, and CNN, should focus more on reporting on the state of their country's institutions, the state of their country's commitments to its people, and to the world, rather than producing further unnecessary sensationalist Third World (Philippine-mainstream like) journalism. 

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