Saturday, August 09, 2008

News and what constitutes it

If you're an American cable news channel, apparently a war between two European nations is not news.

I had another check of the major channels this morning to see if Russian v. Georgia got a look in. Nope. Not in the first quarter hour, anyway. MSNBC is wholly devoted to sport. (At the moment, it's people rowing boats.) Headline News, CNN, and Faux News are absorbed with the death of some poor unfortunate in Peking who seems to have been murdered by a local looney.

The morning papers thought it was a bit more important than that. The Times gave it an article on the front page. Above the fold, too. The WSJ gave it the main headline and a picture. Even the poor old Press Telegram found space for a war report.

I seem to be the only one who finds the broadcast media's lack of interest so astonishing. Perhaps because it's not a liberal/conservative sort of thing. The BBC World Service is certainly giving full serious coverage to the war and no one has accused them of right wing tendencies any time recently.

Are we really that parochial? Perhaps with gasoline at four bucks a pop more or less, there would be more interest if someone pointed out to our information monitors the presence of major oil pipelines in the area?