Get Your Real News On
By : Sasha A. Rae
After a long day, you flip on the t.v. to soak up some news and ... a story on Paris Hilton flashes across the screen followed by a recap of who won on American Idol last time. A little bit later, the news anchor gives you a few tasty tidbits of Rush Limbaugh calling Obama a socialist and possibly a blip of Jon Stewart skewering a politico. But what the news doesn't give you is ... the news, especially about what's happening in the rest of the world.

Unfortunately, that's news not easily found. A recent study by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism showed that 64% of news coverage by American media covered only the United States. An additional 25% of the news covered foreign affairs - but only those stories directly related to American political, economic or military interests. A paltry 10% of the news stories addressed any true international news. And cable television comes in dead last all dishing up the international news about 4% of the time.

The media is in a sorry state, and you're feeling sorry too because you still don't know what's going on and you can't seem to find the news anywhere. At least not easily. That's because the news media have decided to cut back on their news reporting staff, especially the foreign bureaus that could bring you tales from afar.

According to Alisa Miller, CEO of Public Radio Interntional, news networks have reduced the number of their foreign bureaus by 50%. Many bureaus have only one news reporter for a whole country. Those are the lucky ones. Some places - including whole continents such as Africa, India, and South America - have no news bureaus. That's two billion people whose lives you may never hear about if you're watching American news. So it's no wonder you don't know the international news of the day - it's not there, in the news media, where it should be.

So you roll on over to the Internet and start checking out the latest news online. Instead, you find a maze of blogs. It's like a labyrinth, each corridor telling you something about someone - one person is blogging about cheese, another is into the whole shoe collecting thing. One more wants to let you know everything about their dating life. If you stay in the blogosphere too long, you could get lost in the over 50 million blogs and 175,000 more being created every day. You don't know who these bloggers are. It could be a bona fide, trained news gatherer. It could be a well-known professor. Or it could be some random guy with a few extra hours on his hands these days. Who knows?

You are now faced with the challenge of an intense Internet excavation for the news. This could take months and you don't have months. You don't even have half an hour. You're too busy working or hunting down the ever-elusive job. You just want your news and you want it now. So what can you do? Where can you go to find valid, accurate reports?

Right here! Check out Global News Sources in Compathos Resources for a well-researched, list of alternatives to the mainstream media and get your international news on.

Each site has been reviewed by Compathos staff members and is designed to give readers a glimpse of what's really happening in the world. Or, at the very least, give you a break from the Hollywood bling, government spin and false "facts" that the mainstream dishes up. Here's to broadening horizons and getting more cross-cultural exchanges going on!

Coming soon - podcast interview with CEO of Public Radio International, Alisa Miller. Check out the video link upper right - "How News Shapes our World"
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