Sunday, November 4, 2007

Patrick- Afghanistan

Saturday at 6o'clock instead of the normal national news (similar to BBC) they have children's news, once per week. This is like the adult news but they use simpler language, spend more time on each story, and focus on positive things.

This week's main focus was Afghanistan-- how are the people, why does it keep appearing in the news, and would you want to travel there (assuming you are a Japanese child). I was surprised to see that in thirty minutes the children's news gave more information on the history, culture, and actual living conditions of the people of Afghanistan than I saw in six years of US mainstream news coverage.

Of course, it was very brief. For example, the history consisted of "after World War 2 the US and Russia turned the country into a battleground because they couldn't make peace with each other. Then the Taliban rose to power, which lasted until the US invaded after September 11. Now there is a new government, and a few people are much richer, but most people are still very poor and it's still a very dangerous place."

Despite being myopic about some of the country's own problems, at least the news takes the time to cover international affairs even as they do not immediately pertain to the economic interests of the country.

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