ms. fresh fish


Wake-up call
April 12, 2006, 1:09 pm
Filed under: general

Last night, we had a friend over for dinner and a slideshow (we provided the dinner, he the sideshow). He’s recently returned from a mission with the International Red Cross in Darfur, Sudan where there’s been conflict for about twenty years.

His slideshow was an amazing selection of photos of the people (civilians, rebels, government, aid workers, and more) and landscape. It is truly an amazingly beautiful “big sky” desert area where those animals that you would recall from your biology text books (remember the long “stick bug” that was completely camouflaged on a twig, or the butterfly with two “eyes” at the bottom of its wings?!?) actually live!

After he shared his experience with us, we had a predictable bombardment of questions and clarifications as we have so little exposure to the issue and know full well that the media can not be trusted to give us a) important things that are going on, and b) when they do cover it, it’s often biased or wrong.

Without getting into the nitty gritty of the Q & A that we subjected him to (needless to say, it’s an insanely horrible situation), suffice it to say that the media is indeed, not generally covering ongoing wars and human atrocities. I feel like a fairly “in-tune” person but was shocked to find out about ongoing conflicts that I had just assumed been resolved as there has been no recent mention of them. When the media does acknowledge such stories, like Darfur, they are painfully oversimplified in an effort to make the story more digestible to North American audiences, i.e. good guy/bad guy. As our friend put it, they assume the viewers are morons and can’t handle complexity.

And so, today I would like to link you up with some of the reliable news sources that he provided us with so as to inform yourselves. Don’t wait and let the media decide what you should know.

http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/dbc.nsf/doc100?OpenForm – The UN’s Humanitarian Service news agency

http://www.alertnet.org/ – a Reuters News service

I will try to be amusing again tomorrow… I promise! In fact, I’ll give you a teaser – it involves my recent efforts at community building.

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