Saturday, April 19, 2008

Minding the gaps

Automating the uncovering of propaganda, could simply be a matter of finding the differences between local and global news coverage.

So, for example, the almost non-existent local coverage of the US votes in the UN against nuclear disarmament. This is a regular, big story, outside the US and UK, but it's self-censored within the US national press. Finding the differences should be a snap ... and the gap itself provides significant information.

The percentage of total coverage a story receives is also significant ... something well-understood within most countries. No one thinks that celebrity news or sports news is hard news, and this is regularly decried. But news from the White House also obscures hard news ... this is clearly stated in fictional movies and television shows involving the White House. And yet we have no automated place to go to determine the obscured, real story, in real time. Even though they are often reported loud and clear in the global press. For example, in the Reagan years, when the World Court convicted the US of funding terror attacks against civilian targets in Nicaragua, it really didn't make the news in the US. But the rest of the World Press reported on it, at length.

Ideally, I'd like an option in Google News, to see the top-rated global stories that are not among the top-rated US-UK stories. There's a local analog, where your city newspaper won't report the biggest national scandal about your city ...

People all over the world need to see these differences, to discover which stories their governments and media manage not to tell them.


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