By Jamie Rieger
Given the state of the world today, it almost makes me want to turn off the TV and computer and ignore the international news for awhile…almost.
When I’m at home, the TV is on one news channel or another; that is, if there isn’t a Red Sox game to watch. I watch the local and Canadian channels until they start repeating themselves, then switch to one of the American news sources, which, to be honest, have taken a slide in recent months. No longer do the major U.S. news networks give comprehensive coverage and ensure that they are providing a wide range of subjects to satisfy the needs of their viewers, but rather, now focus on one or two subjects, beat it to death with a stick, and when they are finished doing that, give slanted commentary to try to sway the viewer to ‘their side’ and then call that the news. Opinion pieces, yes; unbiased news coverage, not so much.
A great example of this narrow reporting was recently when CNN was giving almost 24-hour coverage of the poor work police officers were doing, how racist the police and much of the country is, and trying to justify why the word ‘thug’ was now a racist word.
During this great debate, other relevant news was not being covered by CNN, which often prides itself on its solid global coverage. During this time, the crisis in Ukraine was being ignored (being covered by Canadian and British news sources, though), ISIS was continuing its ascend on mankind in the Middle East (again covered here and in the United Kingdom), and closer to home, did not give a whisper of how Avian Influenza was spreading like wildfire south of the border, forcing the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to issue an advisory on Good Friday.
Perhaps, the Avian Flu is not pretty enough, or devastating enough, to make a two-minute slot on CNN, but guaranteed, it was relevant enough to the producers who had it infest their flocks. By the way, within days of the CFIA advisory, an Ontario poultry farm had been the latest be struck. There are several ongoing situations taking place in British Columbia.
The television news coverage has been sporadic at best, even in Canada.
The ongoing situation of Avian Influenza in the U.S., and now in Canada, may not be lead story, and is just one example of some of the news taking place that we are not seeing on our news channels as they (CNN and others) train their focus on just one or two top stories.
The viewer is the big loser here because they are being robbed of comprehensive news coverage and may be robbed at the grocery store then next time they go buy a turkey or roasting chicken. But, the reader of this column will certainly know why the price of poultry has been on the rise.