Living with an insular media

So, back in the Land Of The Free, and I’m catching up on email and news. I wanted to write a few words about living with the insular US media from my experiences so far. As many sane people will know, one of the major failings in the States today is that the mass produced TV media here have a general aversion to international news coverage. Sure, they’ll cover Iraq (because of its implications back home) and they’ll cover the North Korean nuclear test (after it happens) but many other news items just aren’t there. This is one reason I don’t own a TV (yet) and I’m undecided about getting one.

Fortunately, the BBC stream their major news broadcasts via their website. I’ve signed up to the premium service but will probably cancel since it doesn’t include a high resolution news broadcast, just certain content (I’ve emailed the BBC to ask why they don’t fix this obvious shortcoming). At any rate, I watch at least one of those newscasts each day, if I can. The BBC also make various forms of news available via podcasts on their website and on Apple iTunes. I pull down a version of their breakfast TV show each day.

CNN (the “Clinton News Network” – i.e. not Faux) provide a commercial online service called ipipeline. I’ve signed up to this too, since I can stream everything from the excellent CNN International I used to watch (not available in the US on regular TV) to live feeds of UN debates, and a whole range of other stuff that you just can’t get here any other way either. It’s a small amount of money to pay each month and in return I’ll be getting a lot of good news options that just aren’t avilable through regular TV programming.

Apple iTunes provides various free (as in beer) podcasts. I run iTunes more than I used to because I can, for example, easily pull down the following:

  • ABC World News
  • BBC Breakfast
  • CBC This Week
  • CNN Late Edition
  • New York Times Front Page
  • Newsnight
  • NPR News Summary
  • BBC Ten O’Clock News
  • This American Life
  • …and a lot more

In concert with NPR (my morning alarm) and the New York Times (and other quality print media – actually I’m thinking about subscribing to the NYT, mostly because they have a backbone) I am actually doing a lot better than I thought I would be. It’s a shame that the regular TV options here are so unbelievably crap when it comes to news, but there are modern day alternatives out there even Murdoch’s empire can’t keep down.


One Response to “Living with an insular media”

  1. Pete Zaitcev says:

    There is nothing quality about NYT. Have you heard about Jason Blair? Least you think the Blair affair is in the past, their anime reviewer is a pathological hater of anime Charles Solomon. He also tends to write reviews without actually watching the show, or watching without paying any attention. Then he fabricates the review. Which is exactly the same thing which Jason Blair did. I remember how at Blair times bloggers were writing that the rot spread into gardening articles (well, those bloggers who cared about gardening). I certainly can believe them now.

    My local town newspaper Tracy Press does better hard nosed reporting against our city government than Times ever did. For example, they exposed our new fire chief as former felon. And NYT did what? That’s right, exposed completely legal government anti-terrorist program (their ombudsman said he’s sorry – many months after the damage was done). Oh, and they also ate lies of Joe Wilson and tried to inflate so-called “Plame affair”. Never said they were sorry about that one.

    In other words, NYT is crap in small and big alike. If they pander your political prejustices, that’s a good reason for you to like it, but don’t pretend that it’s anything about “quality”.

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