Saturday, February 5, 2011

Media v Reality

I am agnostic. I mention this, only because I want what I'm about to say to be viewed in the context of that knowledge, as I feel it's important.

Amongst the turmoil and uprising in Egypt, I have come across two stories that make an utter mockery of the supposed religious frictions that I regularly read about, which are the apparent basis for the War on Terror.

Firstly, there was this wonderful story of Egyptian Muslims choosing to risk their own lives to help protect the lives of Coptic Christians threatened by Extremist Muslims. It clearly shows how the difference between Islamist Extremists and Muslims is akin to the difference between the KKK and regular Christians.

Then, there was this image, showing some of the said Coptic Christians protecting praying Muslims during the Egyptian protests, which almost made me cry with happiness and pride in humanity. It also made a mockery of these religious differences, showing that ordinary people respect each other's views, beliefs and rights. It was especially poignant, when put in the context of a video showing peaceful Egyptian protesters being run over by a van in the street.

These things reinforce my belief in humanity. So why haven't I seen and read about these things all over the news? Why are the media obsessed with showing us the negative side of everything? I really feel that they have a resonsibilty to show some more positive stories like this, because to someone relying on mainstream media alone to know what's happening in the world, it is perfectly reasonable to assume the four horsemen will be appearing over the horizon at any moment. And since our own western governments clearly rely on us believeing the end is nigh at any moment to let them away with pushing through whatever legislation suits them (and their backers), it is even more essential that everyone sees that humanity still exists all over the world. That the things that separate us are infinitessimally smaller than the things which bring us together.

In short, I believe that news media have a responsibility to remind us that, despite the disasters, the deaths and the tragedies, there is always hope in the world and there is always good in humanity.

Because they don't, I am eternally grateful for social media like Twitter and Facebook, because it lets real people communicate with each other and show the world what's really happening.

The internet is changing the world, more and more every day. And for the better. Media will either have to adapt to keep up or die, as people seek out more balanced ways to know what is really happening in the world.


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