Freedom of Information Not Allowed Here

by ecoAmerica’s Special Projects Director Judy Mills

 

I am not a conspiracy theorist. I am just a dyed-in-the-wool communicator. Asked too may questions as a child. Majored in communications as an undergraduate. Worked as a newspaper and magazine journalist before my career in conservation. And I am gobsmacked about the major bits of news missing from mainstream American media.

 

Read Al Jazeera to see what I mean.

 

I read the New York Times daily, watch CNN entirely too much and worship as much as possible at the alter of NPR’s brilliant offerings. I also receive a steady stream of Google Alerts and heads-up on news from various listserves and an array of news-junky colleagues and friends.

 

But when I checked out Al Jazeera this week for climate news, I got that dizzying, surreal feeling of being the last one to know information that could save my life. Your life, too. In fact, everybody’s life in this gloriously blessed nation of ours.

 

This missive is not an admonition to take note of unfolding climatic doom and gloom. Rather, it’s to ask why we inside America are not getting the same information the world outside America is getting. I don’t know about you, but I want the Full Monty when it comes to communications on climate. And maybe a majority of our countrymen would not be so blasé about climate if they had access to the full marketplace of info they can and should use.

 

Check out these stories from Al Jazeera on:

Outside America’s borders the media are free to fully discuss the weather, which is a derivation of climate. That’s right, “weather” is what’s happening at the moment, but it’s called “climate” in the aggregate. Just ask NASA.

 

So why is it I have to go to Qatar-based Al Jazeera to enjoy freedom of information on weather news?

 

2 Responses to “Freedom of Information Not Allowed Here”

  1. You hit the nail on the head. I think this really owes to two problems. The first is that American media has shifted from telling us from what we need to know, to telling us what we want to hear. Call this the channel news problem. The second, which springs from the first, is the problem of ‘balanced reporting’ in a country so misinformed. I’m always amazed by how much attention climate change skeptics get, just to ‘balance’ out a story and avoid criticism from the extremely misinformed.. I’d call this the print media problem.

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