I find myself envying many things about Europe – their infrastructure, taste in cars and environmentally conscious habits, just to name a few. ‘Why can’t we just be more like England?’ I think to myself. They aren’t that different from us. But, somehow, their proximity to the rest of the world has made them much more responsible. And America stands on its own, fat, lazy and illogical as ever.
This is an older article, but I can only imagine that the problem has gotten worse with the economy.
Demise of the Foreign Correspondent by Pamela Constable (The Washington Post)
I can’t say it better:
“Today, Americans’ need to understand the struggles of distant peoples is greater than ever. Our troops are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, countries that we did not know enough about when we invaded them and that we are still trying to fathom. We have been victimized by foreign terrorists, yet we still cannot imagine why anyone would hate us. Our economy is intimately linked to global markets, our population is nearly 20 percent foreign-born, and our lives are directly affected by borderless scourges such as global warming and AIDS. Knowing about the world is not a luxury; it is an urgent necessity.
But instead of stepping up coverage of international affairs, American newspapers and television networks are steadily cutting back…
In the 1980s, American TV networks each maintained about 15 foreign bureaus; today they have six or fewer…
I am convinced that cutting back on first-hand reporting from abroad and substituting cheaper, simpler forms of overseas news delivery is a false economy and a grave mistake.”
Every American should check up with BBC’s front page for news. Europe manages to keep world news a deep staple throughout hard times. And, perhaps for people like us, they even regularly broadcast a minute-long World News update.