After visiting the Newseum and viewing all the coverage taken by American journalists, I began to wonder about other nations that don’t have freedom of the press. We take for granted this tenet of our life, that we are capable of knowing anything and everything. We know about the Stimulus Package and our debt of trillions of dollars. Essentially, governmental decisions both nationally and internationally are not a mystery to us. Yet as we watch the TV and read the papers, it seems that we are still getting a one-dimensional perspective despite all these freedoms. We hear from the American perspective about the war in Iraq and about relations between Israel and her neighboring countries. What we lack is a different perspective.
One of the times I was in Israel, I met with a Druze man from the Galil region. The Druze people are a unique group of individuals who practice an offshoot of Islam and live primarily in northern Israel, Syria, Lebanon and a few other countries. This man sat a small group of us down and explained his perspective on the current situation on the Middle East. I was so used to reading the Israeli News and listening to the American radios explain the situation that I neglected to incorporate a third dimension. He described to us his heritage and his passion for this narrow strip of land that means so much to so many different sorts of people. I realized just to what extent our media in America lacks this perspective.
I do give credit to a few select media programs who seek to accomplish just this (NPR), but on the whole, our news systems are devoid of this. We are not being completely truthful to the general public by presenting them with the American perspective. When children grow up only watching NBC and Fox News, they obtain a narrow outlook. Rather, it is in their greater interest to be given a wider array of news and then let them base their decision. This goes back to the news corporations. If major TV channels and the like present the public with perspectives similar to what the Druze man shared with me, we would be living in a much more open-minded culture.